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LIBRARY 
Brigham Young University 



r 




205196 



The Way of Eternal Life 



Doctrines and Ordinances of the 

Church of Jesus Christ of 

Latter-day Saints 



Written Especially for Young People 
BY EDWIN F. PARRY 

An Elder of the Church of Jecus Christ of Latter-day Saiots 



2051915 

SALT LAKE CITY. UTAH 1 

The Deseret News ^ 

1917 






Rary 



PREFACE 

Under the title, "The Way of Eternal 
Life," some of the leading doctrines and 
ordinances of the Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints are discussed in 
this little hook. It is written especially 
for the young people of Zion. Its pur- 
pose is to explain to them, in a manner 
easily to be understood, the faith of 
their fathers; in other words, to point 
out to them, and to encourage them to 
pursue, the course of conduct which 
will bring the greatest happiness and 
satisfaction in this life, and which will 
lead them to eternal salvation in the 
life hereafter. 

Young people are not satisfied with a 
bare explanation" of the gospel pre- 
cepts: they wonder why certain prin- 



iv Preface 

ciples and ordinances are accepted and 
practiced in the Church, and they want 
to know the purpose of them — why 
they should be obeyed in order to gain 
salvation. The writer has sought, in 
the following pages, not only to de- 
scribe the gospel principles and prac- 
tices, but also to show why they are 
needful, and to offer some helpful sug- 
gestions as to how people may learn to 
practice them and thereby receive the 
blessings of so doing. 

Several requests from parents, and 
from boys and girls also, have induced 
the writer to publish what is here pre- 
sented; and it is hoped that the modest 
volume will be of service to the chil- 
dren of the Latter-day Saints, to whom 
it is respectfully dedicated. 

THE AUTHOR 



CONTENTS 

True Religion 1 

Man's Conduct Governed by Law.. 7 

Natural for Man to Worship 11 

The Creator 17 

Our Past Life 25 

The Fall and Redemption of Man 32 

The Purpose of Mortal Life 42 

Faith, the First Step on the Way.. 51 

Repentance, the Second Step 61 

Baptism, the Third Step 70 

Confirmation, the Fourth Step 79 

Reverence 86 

Prayer 91 

Church Organization and Divine 

Authority 97 

Revelation , 105 



vi Contents 

Joseph Smith and the Latter-day 

Church 110 

The Sabbath and Public Worship 118 

The Lord's Supper 124 

Fasting 127 

Marriage 130 

Tithing 137 

The Word of Wisdom 143 

Purity of Life — Purpose of Sacra- 
ments 149 



The Way of Eternal Life 

I. TRUE RELIGION 

Wlien you read some of the state- 
ments made in this chapter and in fol- 
lowing divisions of this book you may 
question their accuracy. They are 
propositions presented without accom- 
panying proof. The reader is asked to 
be not hasty in rejecting them before 
giving them fair consideration. 

Many generally accepted proverbs 
appear to be incorrect philosophy at 
first sight. When, as a boy, the writer 
first heard the old maxim which runs 
something like this: "If you want 
something done, get a busy man to do 
it," he did not see the wisdom of the 
expression. He thought a person of 



2 The Way of Eternal Life 

leisure would be the most prompt in 
performing any work given him, but 
later experience and observation con- 
vinced him of the truth of the adage. 

In studying religion or any other 
branch of knowledge the student will 
often find it necessary to accept state- 
ments of facts as they are set forth 
and be content to wait until he is fur- 
ther advanced before the full force 
of the truth dawns upon his mind. 

The study and practice of religion 
ought to appeal to everyone. To neg- 
lect it is folly. Disregard for the laws 
of physical well-being brings suffering 
and regret. It is far more serious to 
disregard the laws of spiritual well- 
being, because the consequence is more 
lasting. The one ends with death, 
while the other reaches into eternity. 

A knowledge of the principles of 



True Religion 3 

correct living, or in other words, true 
religion, is the highest of all human 
acquirements, and the practice of 
them the greatest of all accomplish- 
ments. Religion stands for purity, 
culture and all that is good, it is the 
foundation of every worthy pursuit. 
It serves as a gauge by which to deter- 
mine the value of knowledge; and 
anything that conflicts with it may be 
regarded as unworthy of acceptance. 

The test of true religion is the power 
it has to bring out the best that is 
in man, and to give him the greatest 
joy and freedom that can be had in life ; 
for the purpose of religion is to afford 
mankind a guide to conduct which will 
develop all his higher powers and 
bring him lasting happiness. True 
religion broadens the mind, makes one 
tolerant, and fills his heart with love 



4 The Way of Eternal Life 

for his fellow-beings. It brings to him 
the greatest happiness — that which 
arises from seeking the happiness of 
others. 

It is an error to think that religion 
is only to prepare one for the life to 
come. It is for this life also. Its re- 
wards are enjoyed in mortality as well 
as in the hereafter. True religion 
teaches the art of right living, whether 
in the present or in the future. It 
forms the source of real happiness here 
and in eternity. The highest state of 
earthly happiness can never be en- 
joyed except by complying with the 
laws of life; and to do this one must 
be directed by religious principles. 
Immoderate indulgence in sensual 
pleasures is not sanctioned by true re- 
ligion. It demands moderation in 



True Religion 5 

these pleasures that one's happiness 
may be more lasting — that he may 
have greater joy. 

Religion in its broadest sense em- 
braces everything that is praiseworthy, 
and all good deeds are prompted by re- 
ligious impulses, whether or not the 
one who performs the good acts is con* 
scions of it. • 

Some people think religion is bur- 
densome, and they feel that they are 
free because they take no part in 
church affairs; and yet if they are not 
worshipers of God they are worshipers 
of manunon, or the things of the 
world; and such worship is more ex- 
acting and burdensome than the true 
worship of that Being who alone is 
worthy of all reverence. 

There are those who scoff at the sac- 
raments or sacred ordinances of the 



6 The Way of Eternal Life 

Church, while they themselves are suh- 
jeet to all kinds of superstitious be- 
liefs and practices. Some there are 
who ridicule the efl&cacy of prayer, 
notwithstanding the fact that nothing 
of worth can be accomplished with- 
out it. 

Such people, perhaps, have never 
thought deeply enough to learn that 
all mankind are instinctively religious, 
and that they, either consciously or 
unconsciously, worship some being or 
object. They do not realize the great 
truth that if their worship is not of 
that character which tends to exalt, it 
must be such as tends to degrade. They 
may not know that the way of eternal 
life is the only consistent path of life 
that one can follow. 



n. MAN'S CONDUCT GOVERNED 
BYLAW 

All things are governed by law. To 
make progress and to gain happiness, 
man must be obedient to law — not to 
one law or set of laws only, but all laws 
that affect his welfare. To enjoy 
health, he must conform to the laws 
of his physical being; if he would live 
unmolested, he must observe the laws 
of his country; and to possess a peace 
of conscience he should live in har- 
mony with the laws of spiritual life. 

It does not give lasting pleasure to 
break any of these laws; and it is a 
mistake to believe that obedience to 
spiritual law interferes with one's lib- 
erty or pleasure, any more than does 
compliance with any other law curtail 



8 The Way of Eternal Life 

freedom. Obedience to law makes one 
free and independent. "The end of 
the law," it is said respecting the law 
of the land, "is not to abolish or re- 
strain but to preserve and enlarge free- 
dom." So it is with tlie law of eternal 
life. Its purpose is to enlarge or ex- 
tend man's freedom by restraining him 
from going to excesses that make him 
incapable of enjoying the pleasures of 
life. At the same time it enjoins upon 
him such service as will enlarge his 
capacity for true enjoyment. 

One who obeys spiritual laws most 
faithfully receives the greatest amount 
of real joy and satisfaction in this life 
and has the best prospects of eternal 
happiness in the future. True worship 
consists of nothing more nor less than 
obeying the laws of correct living. The 
Lord does not require any observances 



Man^s Conduct Governed by Law 9 

on the part of his children except such 
as are beneficial to them, and by obey- 
ing the laws of spiritual growth they 
lay the only suitable foundation for 
moral, mental, and even physical at- 
tainments. 

The saying of Alexander Pope, that 
"Order is heaven's first law," has been 
questioned, and it has been asserted 
by some of our own writers that "Obe- 
dience is heaven's first law," and that 
order is the result of obedience. It is 
certainly true that one must learn the 
necessity of yielding obedience to law 
— either physical or spiritual — to 
enjoy its benefits. Refusal or neglect 
to comply with law is the cause of most 
of the troubles mankind experience; 
and the lesson of obedience is one of 
the first and most important in life. 

Salvation is education. "A man can- 



10 The Way of Eternal Life 

not be saved in ignorance." To get a 
knowledge of the true plan of salva- 
tion requires study and work as well as 
faith. To obey spiritual law it is first 
needful that one shall become ac- 
quainted with it; and to give willing 
and intelligent obedience he should be 
convinced that it is good. He should 
love to abide by it, because he feels 
that it is wholesome, and will make 
him better for having lived in harmony 
with its teachings. 

Religious principles upon which sal- 
vation depends are simple and easy 
to understand. The way of eternal life 
may be pointed out in plain language. 
There are no "deep subjects" nor mys- 
teries connected with the essential doc- 
trines of salvation. 



III. NATURAL FOR MAN TO 
WORSHIP 

It is natural for man to admire that 
which is beautiful and grand; whether 
it be an object of nature or a creation 
of his own hand, it gives him joy to 
behold it. When he contemplates the 
wonders of the universe, this admira- 
tion is increased, and he regards these 
things with reverence. This latter 
term is used to express heightened ad- 
miration. To reverence an object 
means to hold it as sacred. 

The rude savage observes objects 
and forces in nature which call forth 
his wonder and awe. Instinctively he 
reveres them because of their supe- 
riority or mystery. He recognizes 
that they are beyond his power to ere- 



12 The Way of Eternal Life 

ate or control, and he fears them. In 
his fear he seeks to avoid doing any- 
thing that he thinks might cause their 
disfavor, and he tries to do those things 
which he beheves will please them. 
Such acts are what constitute the sav- 
age's system of worship — his religion. 
Beings with higher intelligence, in 
searching more deeply into the forces 
and phenomena of nature, discover 
that these forces are controlled by 
laws. They learn that there are intri- 
cacies in the operation of these laws 
such as could not exist without the di- 
rection of some intelligent Being. The 
more they study and investigate, the 
more are they convinced that there 
must be a Designer and Creator who 
directs all things in the universe to ac- 
complish his own purposes. Then, in- 
stead of fearing and worshiping the 



Natural for Man to Worship 13 

inanimate objects and forces of nature, 
the intelligent man, while admiring 
the creations about him, seeks to wor- 
ship the Creator of them. 

Most all human beings worship some 
object or person. That which man es- 
teems the highest or greatest of all 
things or beings — that which he loves 
with all his might, mind and strength 
— is the object of his veneration or 
reverence. 

If a man loves wealth above all other 
things, he may be regarded as a wor- 
shiper of wealth. 

A child reverences its parents, if it 
has not been taught that there is a 
greater Being to worship. It beholds 
with wonderment the superior power 
and intelligence of its parent. It loves 
that parent and respects his wishes. 
It gives obedience to the parent's teach- 



14 The Way of Eternal Life 

ings. It appeals to its parent for those 
things which it desires and cannot ob- 
tain through its own efforts alone. It 
is pleased with and grateful for favors 
shown, and seeks to express gratitude 
in words as well as by conduct. In 
other words, it regards its parents with 
reverence and prays or appeals to them 
for what it needs. These acts on the 
part of the child constitute a system of 
worship, and are a part of child nature, 
showing that worship is an inherent 
trait of man. 

The disposition of men to admire or 
reverence some being greater than 
themselves is a good trait. It is a God- 
given attribute that is of the highest 
value to the hmnan family. It is one 
that should not be suppressed, but 
should be cultivated. When one ad- 
mires the good qualities of another, it 



Natural for Man to Worship 15 

follows that lie will have a desire to 
possess those qualities himself; and 
this will give him an incentive to rise 
and become like the one he admires. 
A child looks with wonder at the su- 
perior power of its parent, and tries to 
become like that parent. In like manner 
the man who is taught concerning the 
greatness and goodness of God has the 
desire awakened within him to become 
like the Creator — his Father. 

As may be learned from the forego- 
ing, the outward form of worship 
adopted by a person or a community 
is called religion. Among the unen- 
lightened peoples of the earth the 
forms of worship are varied accord- 
ing to the intelligence of the people 
and the teachings they have received. 
But there can be only one true form 



16 The Way of Eternal Life 

of worshiping the Creator, and that is 
the form established and revealed by 
him — the gospel as taught by Jesus 
Christ and his authorized and inspired 
servants. 



IV. THE CREATOR 

"Three things are necessary in order 
that any rational and intelligent being 
may exercise faith in God unto life 
and salvation. First, the idea that he 
actually exists. Secondly, a correct 
idea of his character, perfections and 
attributes. Thirdly, an actual knowl- 
edge that the course of life which he 
is pursuing is according to his will." 
(Lectures on Faith, Doctrine and Cov- 
enants. ) 

It was stated in the preceding chap- 
ter that the works of nature, when 
studied intelligently, lead mankind to 
believe that there is a Creator — a Be- 
ing of supreme intelligence and power 
that directs the forces of the universe. 
This statement does not imply that 



18 The Way of Eternal Life 

man first learned about the existence 
of a Supreme Being in that way. The 
knowledge of God first came by the 
Creator revealing himself personally 
to Adam, the father of the human race. 
This knowledge was handed down by 
tradition from generation to genera- 
tion. In later times the Lord revealed 
himself to Enoch, to Noah, to Abra- 
ham, to Moses, and to others, thereby 
confirming the tradition that came 
from father to son. Afterwards, the 
Lord Jesus Christ himself came upon 
earth to dwell among men. He re- 
confirmed the truth taught for ages 
concerning the Creator. 

In these latter days Joseph Smith 
came as a witness for the Creator. He 
testified anew that there is a God in 
heaven. He declared he knew this for 
himself, for he beheld both God the 



The Creator 19 

Father and his Son Jesus Christ. His 
testimony has been accepted by hun- 
dreds of thousands of people who have 
received satisfactory evidence that his 
words are true. 

This great prophet, Joseph Smith, 
was instrumental in bringing to light 
the Book of Mormon, an ancient vol- 
ume of Scripture as sacred and as au- 
thentic as the Bible; and the revela- 
tions given to him, and contained in 
the book of Doctrine and Covenants, 
form a volume of modern Scripture 
which is also sacred and inspired. 
These witnesses all testify to the exist- 
ence and character of the Creator. 
They are confirmed by the testimony 
of reason, history and science, and are 
worthy of the most earnest considera- 
tion. 

While there is abundant proof in 



20 The Way of Eternal Life 

existence to establish the truth of these 
several witnesses, it cannot be pre- 
sented here. Such works as treat up- 
on the divinity of the sacred Scriptures 
and of Joseph Smith's mission are rec- 
ommended to the reader for study. 
Above all, he should read the Scrip- 
tures themselves, for by so doing he 
will find that they contain evidence of 
their own truth. By considering these 
proofs of the existence of God, one 
cannot fail to be impressed with them. 
As to the personal and physical 
character of the Creator, these same 
witnesses — the Scriptures — ^bear un- 
mistakable testimony. The Bible, in 
its very first chapter, tells us that God 
created man in his own image. The 
same book says that Adam was the son 
of God; and it teaches further that we 
are all the children of God — that he 



The Creator 21 

is our Father : that is, the Father of our 
spirits. 

When we are given to understand 
that he is our Father, it is easy to be- 
lieve that we are like him, and that he 
is a personal Being in form like man. 
Jesus Christ, when he was upon the 
earth, appeared like other men, and 
yet he was the Son of God, and was as- 
sociated with our Father in heaven in 
the creation of the earth. He is called 
in the Scriptures the Creator of heaven 
and earth; and this is correct, for he 
was and is united with the Father in 
all things — not united in body, but in 
harmony with him in purpose. It is 
plainly stated in the Scriptures that 
the Father and the Son Jesus Christ 
are two distinct Beings. The Father 
has a body of flesh and bones as well 
as a spirit; the Son also has a body like 



22 The Way of Eternal Life 

that of the Father; but the Holy Ghost 
is a personage of spirit. We learn of 
other characteristics of the Creator 
from the Scriptures. They assure us 
that he is all-powerful; that he is full 
of love for his children; and that his 
promises never fail. His children can 
therefore trust in him and rely upon 
his promises. 

It has already been suggested that 
the Scriptures be studied in order to 
strengthen one's conviction that God 
exists, that he is our Father, and that 
he is mindful of our welfare. With- 
out doubt, the most positive proof one 
might obtain of the existence of the 
Creator is through personal experi- 
ence. Our religion and the Scriptures 
teach us that we should pray to our 
Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus 
Christ. K we do this and our prayers 



The Creator 23 

are answered we have personal knowl- 
edge that he lives and that he answers 
prayers. 

In addition to praying for this 
knowledge, we should work for it. 
That is, we should seek to keep the 
commandments of God as fast as we 
learn what they are. The surest way 
to know the truth of a principle is to 
practice it, and thereby prove it for 
ourselves. This is the way a child 
gains knowledge in school. When the 
teacher explains the principles of read- 
ing, for example, the child learns and 
practices the instructions and finds for 
himself that the principles are correct, 
and thereby gets a knowledge of the 
art of reading; and thus he progresses 
on the highway of education. 

The great Teacher, through his in- 
spired prophets, has marked out the 



24 The Way of Eternal Life 

way of eternal life and invites his chil- 
dren to walk therein; and by doing so 
they are assured as they advance day 
by day, that they are on the right path, 
for the landmarks they behold indi- 
cate to them that they are pursuing the 
proper course. 



V. OUR PAST LIFE 

Our life here on earth is not the be- 
ginning of our existence. The revela- 
tions given through the Prophet Jo- 
seph Smith make the truth known that 
all mankind had an existence before 
they were born here upon the earth. 
That is, their spirits existed without 
bodies of flesh and bone. That spir- 
itual existence was a real, individual 
life, and each person was possessed of 
intelligence and will-power. 

The Bible contains passages that 
lead its readers to believe that the an- 
cient people of God understood that 
there was a spirit life before this mor- 
tal existence ; but the doctrine is not so 
clearly stated in that book as it is by 
Joseph Smith, the modern prophet. 



26 The Way of Eternal Life 

Not much is known about that spiritual 
life. We have no recollection of it. 
and what is said about it in the books 
of sacred Scripture, both modern and 
ancient, is very meager. 

It may be fortunate that but little is 
revealed of the past existence or of the 
future state of man. There is so much 
to be learned concerning the present 
life and its duties that one must apply 
himself diligently to gain the knowl- 
edge needed here. Were it possible tc 
explore the past and the future the 
present, no doubt, would be neglected. 

The "Pearl of Great Price," a work 
accepted by the Latter-day Saints as 
one of the standard religious books of 
our Church, tells us that the great 
patriarch, Abraham, was shown in 
vision the spirits of men in the spirit 
world, as they existed before their 



Our Past Life 27 

birth upon the earth. He was given to 
understand that spirits "have no begin- 
ning; they existed before," and that 
they shall have no end, for they are 
eternal. Among this great host of 
spirits, Abraham says he saw many no- 
ble and great ones, and the Lord told 
him that of these noble ones he would 
make his rulers. Abraham was also 
informed that he himself was one of 
the great ones in the spirit v/orld, and 
that he was chosen of the Lord before 
he was born. 

As to what was done by or among the 
spirits of mankind in their pre-natal 
state we are not told in detail ; but one 
or two great events that took place 
before this world was organized and 
prepared for the abode of man are re- 
vealed through the writings of Abra- 
ham. Here is what he says: 



28 V The Way of Eternal Life 

"And there stood one among them 
that was like unto God, and he said 
unto those who were with him, We will 
go down, for there is space there, and 
we will take these materials, and we 
will make an earth whereon these may 
dwell; and we will prove them here- 
with, to see if they will do all things 
whatsoever the Lord their God shall 
command them; and they who keep 
their first estate shall be added upon; 
and they who keep not their first es- 
tate shall not have glory in the same 
kingdom with those who keep their 
first estate; and they who keep their 
second estate shall have glory added 
upon their heads for ever and ever." 

The earth above referred to means 
our earth, and those whom the Lord in- 
tended to prove were the untried spir- 
its who were to come and people this 



Our Past Life 29 

globe. The "first estate" mentioned 
means the spirit life before the earthly 
existence or mortal life; the "second 
estate" refers to this present existence 
here on earth. 

Another occurrence which took place 
in the eternal world before this earth 
was inhabited is described in the 
"Writings of Moses," found in the 
"Pearl of Great Price:" 

"And I, the Lord God, spake unto 
Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou 
hast commanded in the name of mine 
Only Begotten, is the same which was 
from the beginning, and he came be- 
fore me saying — Behold, here am I, 
send me, I will be thy son, and I will 
redeem all mankind, that one soul shall 
not be lost, and surely I will do it; 
wherefore give me thine honor. But. 
behold, my beloved Son, which was my 



30 The Way of Eternal Life 

Beloved and Chosen from the begin- 
ning, said unto me — Father, thy will be 
done, and the glory be thine forever. 
Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled 
against me, and sought to destroy the 
agency of man, which I, the Lord God, 
had given him, and also that I should 
give him mine own power; by the 
power of mine Only Begotten, I caused 
that he should be cast down." 

The position Satan sought when he 
asked the Lord God to send him, was 
that of redeemer or savior of mankind. 
His purpose was to save all mankind 
by force, taking from them their 
agency or freedom to choose for them- 
selves. Then he demanded God's 
honor as reward for what he proposed 
to do. He was selfish and rebellious 
and sought to exalt himself. Jesus, in 
meekness and humility said to the 



Our Past Life 31 

Father, "Thy will be done, and the 
glory be thine forever." 

The benefit of understanding these 
truths concerning man's origin and 
past existence is this: The knowledge 
that we are the children of God, sent to 
earth to be tried and proven, and that 
it is our destiny to become like our 
Father, will inspire us to strive for the 
exalted position in store for all who 
will keep their "second estate." This 
knowledge of our possibilities mil 
give us higher aims in life, and will 
help us to overcome weaknesses and 
surmount all obstacles. 



VI. THE FALL AND REDEMP- 
TION OF MAN 

It might help one to understand the 
nature of the fall of our first parents 
by presenting a comparison: The chil- 
dren of mortal parents dwell in a kind 
of Paradise or Eden in the home of 
their father and mother. Here they 
are surrounded with all that is needful 
for their comfort. Their parents pro- 
vide for their every want. But there 
comes a time, after they have grown 
to manhood, when they are expected to 
leave their happy abodes and battle 
with the adversities of life in an un- 
sympathetic world, when they have to 
earn their bread by the sweat of their 
brow. Thy may not be turned out, but 
their parents, while they love them, are 



The Fall of Man 33 

pleased to have their children go, know- 
ing that the experience they will get by 
80 doing will be for their lasting good, 
as it is the only way whereby they can 
develop the powers of self-reliance and 
independent action. 

Do not get the idea that the fall of 
Adam and the atonement of Christ are 
some deep mysteries that cannot be 
understood. The Prophet Nephi 
makes the meaning clear in a few 
words. He says : "Adam fell that men 
migth be ; and men are, that they might 
have joy. And the Messiah comerli 
in the fulness of time, that he may re- 
deem the children of men from the fall. 
And because that they are redeemed 
from the fall, they have become free 
for ever." (II Nephi 2:25, 26.) 

The great plan of the Eternal Father 
provided that when the spirits from 



34 The Way of Eternal Life 

the spirit world came to live upon this 
earth they should be clothed with mor- 
tal tabernacles — bodies that would die 
and go to decay. As has been stated 
in the previous chapter, the spirits are 
immortal, but their second estate 
means an existence in a mortal taber- 
nacle, that is a life subject to death or 
separation of spirit and body. 

The account given of Adam, the 
father of the human race, states that 
he was placed in the Garden of Eden 
and forbidden to partake of the fruit 
of a certain tree in that garden, and 
that if he did partake of it he should 
die as a result of this disobedient act. 
The language of the Scriptures in 
reference to the partaking of the for- 
bidden fruit may be figurative. Its 
meaning is that Adam was warned as to 
the consequence of breaking a certain 



The Fall of Man 35 

law that he might exercise his free 
agency intelligently. Whatever that 
law was, Adam did break it — not in a 
spirit of rebelliousness, but under- 
standingly for a purpose, and to fulfill 
God's design. Having violated a law of 
immortality he fell or became mortal, 
that is, subject to death, and was sep- 
arated from the presence of God. By 
what is called the fall of Adam, mortal- 
ity was brought upon all his posterity. 
They inherit this condition through 
being descended from mortal ancestors. 
This condition of existence was de- 
signed by the Lord for an important 
purpose — that mankind might gain an 
experience that would develop their 
faculties and attributes and thereby fit 
them for a more glorious estate. So 
the fall of our first parents was not a 



36 The Way of Eternal Life 

misfortune or calamity, as some be- 
lieve. 

It was not intended that when men 
should die that would be the end of 
their existence. What is called death 
is a separation of the spirit and body. 
The spirit still lives, while the body de- 
cays and returns to the earth from 
which it was formed. But the Lord de- 
signed that man shall live again, even- 
tually, possessing both body and spirit. 
This reuniting of the body and spirit 
is called the resurrection. When it 
takes place there will be no other sep- 
aration of them. Together they will 
remain for all eternity, constituting the 
soul of man in his immortal and glor- 
ified condition. 

To bring about the mortality of man 
some law of eternal existence was 
broken by Adam, and the result of that 



The Redemption of Man 37 

act affected all of his race. Through 
the fall of our first parents their pos- 
terity were brought into a condition 
where they might gain broader experi- 
ence than they could in their spirit ex- 
istence, and where they would be sub- 
ject to sin and its penalty, which is 
death. In order to make amends for 
that broken law, and thereby redeem 
mankind from the effects of sin, it ap- 
pears that something had to be done 
which sinful man could not do for him 
self. The great work that was so es- 
sential was that performed by Jesus 
Christ. He came upon the earth, lived 
without committing sin, and voluntar- 
ily died to redeem all mankind from 
the effects of Adam's transgression, and 
also from the effects of their own sins. 
This work accomplished by our 
Savior, the grandeur of which we may 



38 The Way of Eternal Life 

but partially comprehend now, is what 
is called the atonement; and because 
Jesus made this atonement he is called 
the Savior and Redeemer of the world. 

We may not be able to fully under- 
stand why an atonement was neces- 
sary, nor why it should be brought 
about by the suffering and death of the 
Son of God. One might ask why it 
could not be effected in some other 
way — some way that would involve 
less suffering. In answer to such a 
question it may be said that all bene- 
fits or blessings come through sacrifice 
or suffering. 

The words of the Savior himself will 
help us to understand the purpose and 
the philosophy of the atonement. He 
said to Nicodemus, "God so loved the 
v/orld, that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whosoever believeth on him 



The Redemption of Man 39 

should not perish, but have everlasting 
life." On another occasion he re- 
marked, "Greater love hath no man 
than this, that he lay down his life for 
his friends;" and again, "the good 
shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." 
But the question, How is man ben- 
efited by this manifestation of love on 
the part of Jesus? is still unanswered. 
Another saying of the Savior will aid 
in finding an answer. "And I, if I be 
lifted up from the earth, will draw all 
men unto me," he said ; meaning, wdth- 
out a doubt, that his being lifted upon 
the cross and by dying voluntarily be- 
cause of the great love he had for man- 
kind, would draw all men unto him in 
love: for love begets love. To be loved 
one must show love, and through love 
is the only way by which God intends 
to save his offspring. 



40 The Way of Eternal Life 

It is clear, then, that the Savior's 
death for mankind was the most effec- 
tive method of atonement that can he 
conceived of. Anything less than his 
suffering death for them would not ap 
peal so strongly to the minds and hearts 
of mankind; and when they fully com- 
prehend the intensity of Christ's love 
for them they will in turn be impelled 
to love him; and when they love him 
they will keep his commandments; 
and by keeping his commandments 
they will gain salvation. So the great- 
est factor in God's plan for saving his 
children is the atonement made by 
Jesus Christ. Through this act, all 
mankind, without compulsion, but by 
their own free agency or desire, may be 
saved and brought back into his pres 
ence, from which by sin they were sep- 
arated. 



The Redemption of Man 41 

That Jesus was himself sinless and 
had no need of suffering for his own 
sins, makes it all the more plain that 
his atonement was entirely unselfish — 
an act of pure love. This fact may 
help to make it clear to one's mind 
why the atonement was made by one 
who was without sin. A person guilty 
of sins would evidently have need to 
atone for his own transgressions, and 
could not redeem others any more than 
they could redeem themselves. A man 
overwhelmed with debt is no more able 
to pay the debts of others than are 
those debtors themselves. 

There is no need of perplexity about 
the nature of the atonement. Our duty 
is to accept it with the deepest grati- 
tude as an assurance of God's unfailing 
love for his children. 



VII. THE PURPOSE OF MORTAL 
LIFE 

In the foregoing chapter it was 
stated that through the fall of Adam 
mankind became mortal and subject 
to death, and that by the atonement of 
Christ they will be redeemed and res- 
urrected from death to life eternal. 
The question, "For what purpose is 
this mortal life?" will naturally pre- 
sent itself to every thinking mind. 

The Book of Mormon calls this 
earthly existence a "probationary 
state," meaning a life where mankind 
are proved or tested, and also a "pre- 
paratory state" (Alma, chap. 42). This 
agrees with what the Lord told Abra- 
ham when he showed him the "intelli- 
gences that were organized before the 



The Purpose of Mortal Life 43 

world was." The Lord said : "We will 
make an earth whereon these may 
dwell; and we will prove them here- 
with, to see if they will do all things 
whatsoever the Lord their God shall 
command them; ^ ^^ ^ and they 
who keep their second estate shall have 
glory added upon their heads forever 
and ever" (Pearl of Great Price, Book 
of Abraham, chap. 3). 

It is clearly evident that this life is 
for mankind to prove themselves. In 
the spirit life their experiences were 
limited, as they did not possess phys- 
ical bodies. Here their powers are en- 
larged, and they are left much to them- 
selves to do as they may choose, and 
they are put to the test to determine 
what they will do. The conditions and 
surroundings here are well suited for 
their testing. This life is like a school 



44 The Way of Eternal Life 

well equipped with every facility for 
giving the training tliat is offered to 
those who enter. Here both good and 
e^il are presented before mankind, 
and they have their agency or freedom 
to follow their omu chosen course of 
conduct. By choosing to obey the 
commandments of God they prepare 
themselves for glory to be "added 
upon their heads forever.'' In other 
words, if they learn the lessons of- 
fered in this preparatory school they 
are fitted for a higher school, where 
their progression continues towards 
perfection of life. If they elect to take 
the \>Tong course, they suffer the con- 
sequences of breaking the laws of their 
existence. By thus suffering they in 
time learn the folly of a sinful course, 
and sooner or later many of them will 
seek to turn from it and repent of their 



The Purpose of Mortal Life 45 

sins. In the language of the Scripture, 
'"When they begin to grow up, sin con- 
ceiveth in their hearts, and they taste 
the bitter, that they may know to prize 
the good" (Pearl of Great Price, 
Moses, chap. 6). 

There is no great virtue in doing 
right when no other course is open 
for one to pursue. Hence it is a wise 
provision that in this world good and 
evil are placed before mankind that 
they may exercise their God-given 
agency and make choice of that which 
they desire. 

But there is so much wickedness and 
suffering apparent in the world that 
some people wonder why the Lord 
permits such things to exist; and some 
are led to think that if the Lord does 
permit such sin and cruelty as are 
known to be in the world he is not the 



46 The Way of Eternal Life 

merciful and loving Being the scrip- 
tures declare him to be. Those who 
think this way do not understand the 
Lord's plan. They look only to the 
present and do not consider future re- 
sults. If mankind were not given the 
freedom to act as they desire, they 
would not be responsible beings. Not 
being able to do anything of their own 
choice, they could not progress; they 
could not plan nor create anything. 
They would be no more than animals, 
and their intellects would be useless. 

Perhaps those who do not see the 
justice of God in permitting cruelty to 
exist object only to the great crimes, 
such as war, massacre and other forms 
of wholesale destruction. They would 
limit suffering. But human endurance 
has a limit, and when that is reached, 
unconsciousness or death relieves the 



The Purpose of Mortal Life 47 

sufferer. How suffering could be fur- 
ther limited without interfering with 
one's agency cannot be conceived. A 
very simple cause may give great pain, 
as, for instance, a child may accident- 
ally upset a lamp and cause people to 
be burned. Because this is possible, 
should the child be bound hand and 
foot and not be permitted to develop 
for fear of causing pain? Again, if 
mortals were so constituted that they 
could not feel bodily pain, there would 
be nothing to prevent them from wan- 
tonly injuring or destroying them- 
selves. 

If all causes of evil were removed 
there, of course, would be no suffering; 
but suffering has its use. It is through 
suffering that the most valuable lessons 
are learned. This world is purposely 
prepared for mankind that they might 



48 The Way of Eternal Life 

endure suffering, anguish and disap- 
pointment, else it would not be a place 
of probation and preparation. With- 
out these agencies human experiences 
would not be such as tend to develop 
the virtues inherent in man. 

It is good to know the purpose of 
suffering so that when one is called to 
endure it he will not complain of 
Providence, as do those who know not 
the blessings of adversity, but will be 
prepared to patiently submit to un- 
avoidable sufferings and receive the 
benefits to be gained therefrom. 

Read the following from a revela- 
tion to the Prophet Joseph Smith: 

"If thou art called to pass through 
tribulation; if thou are in perils among 
false brethren; if thou art in perils 
among robbers; if thou art in perils by 
land or by sea ; if thou are accused with 



The Purpose of Mortal Life 49 

all manner of false accusations; if 
thine enemies fall upon thee; if the)^ 
tear thee from the society of thy father 
and mother and brethren and sisters; 
and if with a drawn sword thine ene- 
mies tear thee from the bosom of thy 
wife, and of thine offspring, and thine 
elder son, although but six years of 
age, shall cling to thy garments, and 
shall say. My father, my father, why 
can't you stay with us? 0, my father, 
what are the men going to do with you? 
and if then he shall be thrust from 
thee by the sword, and thou be dragged 
to prison, and thine enemies prowl 
around thee like wolves for the blood 
of the lamb; and if thou shouldst be 
cast into the pit, or into the hands of 
murderers, and the sentence of death 
passed upon thee; if thou be cast into 
the deep; if the billowing surge con- 



50 The Way of Eternal Life 

spire against thee; if fierce winds be- 
come thine enemy; if the heavens 
combine to hedge up the way; and 
above all, if the very jaws of hell shall 
gape open the mouth wide after thee, 
know thou, my son, that all these things 
shall give thee experience, and shall be 
for thy good. The Son of Man hath 
descended below them all; art thou 
greater than he?" (Doctrine and Cov- 
enants 122:5-8.) 



Vni. FAITH, THE FIRST STEP 
ON THE WAY 

Did it ever occur to you how much 
the exercise of faith enters into your 
every-day life? ^Tien you start out in 
the morning to work, you trust that you 
will reach your destination — you have 
faith that you will; when you begin 
your labor, you assume that you will 
be able to complete it; and when it is 
finished, you expect that you will be 
rewarded for it. And so it is with 
many other acts of life. 

Faith is the first step towards prog- 
ress in any line. Without it nothing 
will be attempted with any hope of suc- 
cess. It is so with respect to the plan 
of life and salvation; and the Scrip- 



52 The Way of Eternal Life 

tures teach that faith is the first step on 
the way to eternal life. 

To worship God, one must believe 
that he exists, must trust in his al- 
mighty power and authority, and must 
have confidence in his promises : "For 
he that cometh to God," says the Scrip- 
ture, "must believe that he is, and that 
he is a rewarder of them that diligently 
seek him" (Heb. 11:6). He must also 
have faith in the Lord's authorized 
servants or representatives — the men 
who have the right to officiate in his 
name in performing the ordinances es- 
sential to salvation. He should also 
have faith or confidence in himself, 
and feel that he is able to win the 
reward of salvation offered to man. 

In connection with the passage of 
Scripture above quoted it is said that 
"without faith it is impossible to please 



Faith, the First Step 53 

God." The reason it is not possible 
to please him without faith is because 
God desires the salvation of his chil- 
dren. Salvation is his greatest gift to 
man, and to bring this about is his 
grandest work; as the Scripture says: 
"Behold this is my work and my glory 
— to bring to pass the immortality and 
eternal life of man" (Book of Moses 
1:39, Pearl of Great Price). 

The Lord desires that all his chil- 
dren should be saved, for he loves 
every one of them; and as faith is the 
first step on the road to eternal life, 
it is pleasing to him to have them enter 
upon this road, knowing that if they 
will continue on it will lead them to the 
blessed goal of salvation, and that until 
they do possess faith in him they can 
never make any progress towards eter- 
nal happiness. 



54 The Way of Eternal Life 

It may not be necessary to define 
the meaning of faith, for that is so gen- 
erally understood. The Apostle Paul 
says, "Faith is the substance [assur- 
ance] of things hoped for, the evidence 
of things not seen." Faith means be- 
lief, trust, confidence, assurance. To 
get an idea of what real, active faith is, 
associate it in your mind with will- 
power or determination. So closely 
are they connected that faith might 
be defined as will-power. "I know I 
can, and I will," expresses faith far 
better than "I think I can, and I'll try." 
The chief purpose in speaking upon 
the principle of faith here is to show 
why faith is necessary (which has al- 
ready been done) , and to tell how faith 
in the Lord and his teaching may be 
acquired and cultivated. 

It is said that faith is a gift of God. 



Faith, the First Step 55 

This does not mean that if we do not 
possess it we must wait until it is be- 
stowed, by chance, perhaps, upon us 
without our seeking. Knowledge, wis- 
dom, artistic talents, are all gifts of 
God, but they are only received 
through effort — by work and study. 
The Scriptures inform us that "faith 
comes by hearing." This is true. When 
a man who is seeking a fortune, for 
instance, hears where gold or other 
riches can be found plentifully, he 
hopes the news is true. For the time 
being he acts on the assumption that 
it is true; and being deeply interested 
in it he at once proceeds to investigate 
and prove it. He inquires about the 
statement he has heard; he thinks and 
studies about it constantly until he is 
satisfied in his mind as to its truth or 
falsity. 



56 The Way of Eternal Life 

The same course should be taken to 
investigate the glad news of salvation. 
When one hears, if he desires his soul's 
salvation, he will hope it is true, and. 
hoping it is true, he will lay aside all 
prejudice and earnestly inquire after 
it, seek to understand it thoroughly by 
study, by prayer and by every means 
of investigation within his power. By 
taking this course his hope will be re- 
warded by an awakening faith, and as 
he proceeds to investigate that faith 
will grow and eventually mature into 
knowledge. 

One should not expect his faith to 
grow without food and exercise. The 
study of the Scriptures provides food 
upon which man's faith can grow, and 
by putting the promises of the Lord to 
the test his faith is exercised. There 
are many tests by which our faith can 



Faith, the First Step 57 

be proven. These tests will be appar- 
ent as one progresses in the study and 
practice of the gospel principles, for 
there are promises of blessings follow- 
ing obedience to each law or rule of the 
gospel. By exercising faith sufficient to 
obey these various laws the truth of the 
promises may be verified. In this way 
faith is developed, and it grows until 
it becomes a mighty power. 

Righteous men, as the Scriptures re- 
cord, have developed such faith that 
they were enabled to do wonderful 
deeds, such as healing the sick, casting 
out devils, raising the dead to life. By 
faith they have been enabled to con- 
verse with heavenly beings, and to re- 
ceive revelations from the Lord. 

These statements are not fables, but 
historical facts. They are the natural 
results of cultivated faith. What has 



58 The Way of Eternal Life 

been done by the power of faith an- 
ciently has also been accomplished in 
this age, and can be done again by the 
same agency, for the fruits of faith are 
the results of a natural and eternal 
law. 

In seeking to gain faith in the Lord 
and in his gospel plan it is not wise nor 
proper to listen to those who are op- 
posed to the gospel. No matter how 
desirous one may be to hear both sides 
of the question, he cannot expect to 
give the truth a fair investigation by 
such a method. He should first obtain 
a full understanding of what the gospel 
is; and to do this he must not only 
learn its teachings but practice its prin- 
ciples in his daily life. Listening to 
the opposition will influence his mind 
in such a way that his faith will waver 
and cannot be concentrated: and it is 



Faith, the First Step 59 

only by concentration that faith can be 
effective. 

What is said in opposition to the gos- 
pel is based upon false grounds. Those 
who oppose it are misinformed or ill- 
informed as to its teachings, and they 
never can be fair in their opposition 
because of their ignorance of the prin- 
ciples they are attacking. No person 
would ever think of studying the prin- 
ciples of any science by listening to 
those who do not believe in that sci- 
ence, or who, in ignorance oppose it. 
The only way to master the science 
would be by accepting and practicing 
the teachings of the preceptor and leav- 
ing all objectors alone. 

When a person has thoroughly as- 
similated the truths of the gospel and 
become converted to them there need 
be little danger in reading or listening 



60 The Way of Eternal Life 

to arguments in opposition to them, 
for he is then prepared to refute the 
false charges made against them. 

There is a possibility of losing faith 
after it is once obtained. As already 
stated, faith is awakened and strength- 
ened by study and by activity in re- 
ligious duties. When one, through 
neglect, or lack of desire, ceases to 
study spiritual truths, and fails to be 
active in the performance of spiritual 
duties, his faith weakens and he is 
more susceptible to temptations and 
sin. Inactivity leads to degeneartion. 
decay and death. By intelligent exer- 
cise of his muscles, a man may develop 
physical strength, but if he afterwards 
neglects physical exercise his body be- 
comes weak, and subject to disease. 



IX. REPENTANCE, THE SECOND 
STEP 

Belief in art does not make an artist; 
belief in music does not make a mu- 
sician; nor does belief in religion 
make a saint. Wliat is most essential 
to make one an artist or a musician is 
practice. It is practice, too, that makes 
a saint. The practice necessary to be- 
come a saint involves what is called 
repentance. Repentance is the process 
of overcoming faults and weaknesses. 

Faith in God naturally gives one a 
desire to place himself in harmony 
with his laws. Man's instinct leads him 
to seek advancement — to improve his 
condition. When he discovers a way 
for improvement, he desires to follow 
it. When one begins to investigate 



62 The Way of Eternal Life 

the Lord's plan of life, and his faith 
has been awakened, he wants to follow 
that plan. To walk in the way of life 
eternal means to live in purity. It 
means that one shall be clean in all 
his habits and thoughts; and that he 
shall be honest, truthful, kind; in 
short, that he should do unto others as 
he would have them do unto him — to 
observe all the Christian virtues. To 
do this he must overcome his inclina- 
tions to disregard the rules of proper 
conduct. 

No matter what station a person oc- 
cupies in life, there are temptations to 
do wrong, and all mankind yield more 
or less to some of these temptations, 
and in early life form habits that need 
correcting. To lay aside these beset- 
ting evils is the second step on the way 



Repentance, the Second Step 63 

to eternal life. This step is called re- 
pentance. 

Repentance means more than sor- 
row for having committed sin ; it means 
the overcoming of sin. Of all the steps 
to be taken on the way of salvation, 
repentance is one of the most import- 
ant. It is not like some of the ordi- 
nances of the gospel that need be per- 
formed but once: it must be repeated 
continually, day after day and year 
after year, for evils and weaknesses of 
humanity cannot be overcome at once ; 
their mastery is the work of a lifetime. 
When one ceases to repent he ceases to 
progress; for no one in this life be- 
comes so perfect that he has no need 
for repentance. One of the chief pur- 
poses of man's existence on earth in 
mortality is to master his own evil in- 
clinations and desires. By doing this 



64 The Way of Eternal Life 

he prepares himself to appreciate and 
partake of the real joys of life. 

The Scriptures inform us that "man 
is [exists] that he might have joy." 
He cannot have lasting joy or happi- 
ness in sinning, or while in a sinful 
state, but must rid himself of his sins ; 
for so long as he has sins unconquered 
he is to that extent a slave or a subject 
of sin. 

Repentance is the great saving prin- — ^ 5^^ 
ciple. It is the only way whereby the ^/^ 
atoning blood of Christ can be made 
effectual in remitting sin, and man can- 
not be saved in his sins, for salvation 
implies a condition free from sin and 
the consequence of sin, which is con- 
demnation or death. 

While faith is the first step towards 
salvation and precedes repentance, 
true repentance strengthens faith. 



Repentance, the Second Step 65 

Without repentance faith cannot grow 
and bring forth fruit. It is useless 
to profess faith and fail to take the 
next step. 

Repentance is as necessary to a per- 
son seeking salvation as practice or 
training is to one seeking proficiency 
in some art. Both are needed to over- 
come faults; and while the one brings 
skill to the hand or to the mind the 
other perfects the soul. 

It may not be out of place here to 
offer a few suggestions as to how evil 
tendencies may be guarded against. It 
is always the easier to correct evil prac- 
tices before they become settled habits. 

A wrong act should be corrected as 
soon as possible after it is committed. 
If one yields to the temptation to tell 
a falsehood he should at once correct 
the wrong as far as it is in his power 



66 The Way of Eternal Life 

to do 80. The longer it is delayed the 
harder it will be to make right, and 
the less will be the inclination to do it. 
If led by temptation to steal, inunedi- 
ate restitution ought to be made; and 
so with every species of wrong doing; 
when one realizes the folly of his acts 
all amends possible should be made. 
By taking this course one's determina- 
tion and ability to resist evil are 
strengthened. Those who commit great 
sins have first been guilty of smaller 
evils and not repented of them. Had 
they repented of the little faults the 
greater sins would most likely never 
have been committed. 

Evils that are premeditated have 
their origin in the mind before they are 
actually committed. Evil thoughts 
need to be repented of, and the best 
way to banish such thoughts is to crowd 



Repentance, the Second Step 67 

them out of the mind by thinking of 
good things. For this purpose good 
books should be read and conversation 
with pure-minded people should be 
sought. 

When evil suggestions come to the 
heart one should call to mind who and 
what he is. He should consider what 
sorrow and disgrace a wrong step 
would bring upon himself and what 
hmniliation it would cause his parents 
and brothers and sisters. He should 
remember his high destiny — that he is 
a son of God, and that it is within his 
power, by resisting evil, to be exalted 
in the celestial kingdom on high. If 
he will stop to reflect upon any of 
these matters he will receive assistance 
in resisting temptation. These things 
should be reflected upon when tempta- 
tions are not at hand, so that in the 



68 The Way of Eternal Life 

hour of temptation such thoughts will 
spring to the mind. 

It is a mistake to expect to become 
fortified against evils by running into 
temptations. They should be avoided 
as much as possible. They will come 
frequently enough without being 
sought It is a mistake to continue an 
evil practice, believing it can be 
stopped easily at any time. The prac- 
tice soon becomes a habit, and then it 
requires strong will-power to break it. 
Users of liquor and tobacco delude 
themselves with the belief that they 
can cease the practice at any time. 
But every time they indulge in the use 
of these things the poison they take 
into their systems weakens their will- 
power, and the longer they continue, 
the more difficult it becomes to stop the 
practice. 



Repentance^ the Second Step 69 

One of the most admirable traits of 
character is self-control; and the way 
to acquire it is by doing things that are 
contrary to our natural inclinations, as, 
for example, if we are inclined to look 
for and speak of people's faults, wc 
should look for their good qualities 
and speak of them; if our inclinations 
are towards idleness, physically or 
mentally, we should force ourselves to 
industry. It has been suggested by 
someone that every person ought every 
day to perform some beneficial act that 
is distasteful to him. This practice 
will afford a training that will be of 
great value. 



/ 



X. BAPTISM, THE THIRD STEP 

In business affairs men draw up 
contracts in writing, stating just what 
each of the parties agrees to do in the 
transactions to follow. Often these 
contracts are signed in presence of wit- 
nesses in testimony that they are made 
in good faith. Baptism is a contract 
or covenant, only it is attested in a dif- 
ferent form. The person to be bap- 
tized covenants with his Maker that he 
will keep his commandments. The 
one officiating in the baptismal cere- 
mony is the Lord's agent in this trans- 
action. He has authority to act in the 
Lord's name, otherwise the ordinance 
would not be binding. He is also a 
witness to the agreement. While the 
agreement is not in writing, the fact of 



Baptism, the Third Step 71 

the baptism is recorded in the books 
of the Church, and furthermore the 
nature of the ceremony is such that one 
cannot forget it, while written prom- 
ises are often forgotten. 

The third step on the way of eternal 
life is baptism. The word baptism 
originally meant immersion, and bap- 
tism for salvation was originally per- 
formed by immersing the candidate in 
water. The burying of the person in 
water and then raising him out of the 
v/ater, in the baptismal ceremony, rep- 
resents the burial and resurrection of 
Christ. After obeying the principles 
of faith and repentance, mankind are 
required to comply with the ordi- 
nance of baptism by immersion for the 
remission of their sins and for en- 
trance into the Church of Christ. 

This form of baptism was taught and 



72 The Way of Eternal Life 

practiced by John the Baptist and by 
the Savior and his disciples. Jesus 
himself was baptized in this manner — 
not for the remission of sins, for he 
was without sin, but, as the Scripture 
says, to "fulfill all righteousness." He 
submitted to the ordinance as a pattern 
for mankind. *'I am the way and the 
life," he said, and all who desire life 
eternal are expected to follow him. 
In course of time the professed fol- 
lowers of Christ changed the ordi- 
nances of the gospel; and among other 
things they altered the form of baptism, 
and yet retained the name — ^baptism — 
for the altered ceremony. Some even 
taught that baptism was unnecessary 
and discarded the practice. These 
things were done without authority 
from heaven and without God's ap- 
proval. The Prophet Joseph Smith 



Baptism, the Third Step 73 

restored anew the old form of baptism, 
and was authorized of God to teach 
and administer it. 

The revelations brought forth by 
Joseph Smith, as well as the Bible, 
teach that baptism by immersion is 
necssary for salvation. All mankind 
who have reached the age of account- 
ability must be baptized. The modern 
revelations teach that children are to 
be baptized when eight years of age, 
and not in their infancy. They must 
be old enough to have understanding, 
to exercise faith and be capable of re- 
pentance. 

While the Scriptures teach that bap- 
tism is for the remission of sins, it is 
not expected that a person be baptized 
every time he may fall into error or 
do a wrong act. Christ's atonement for 
sins was made but once, and that was 



"4 The W^ay of Eternal Life 

for the *in? of all mankind, committed 
either before or after the time the 
stonement wa? made. pro^"ided they 
manifest their acceptance of that atone- 
ment by repenting of their sins, hy be- 
iii£ baptized and by obe\-in£: his other 
ccniniandments. So. too. baptism, like 
the atnement. answers for eins com- 
mitted either before or after the time 
the -remi'iiy takes place. pro^"ided 
tb Ore >iii5 are all rep^ented of. and they 
s't z:: fi: :h deadly sins as >^-ill deprive 
T fellowship in the Church of 

ChriFt. 

y The qoeetiiMi 1© often asked. Why is 
baiptism wccj c nmr y to salvation? The 
Scripliiree do not fully answer this 
They inform us that with 
lo man can be saved. The 
diat the Lord commands it 
dionld be sufficient to bring compli- 



Baptism, the Third Step 75 

ance. There are several reas^n^. how- 
ever, why baptiim is a v^i-- pr.diion. 
Some form of initiation into the 
Church of Christ is evidently needed, 
and this symbol of the Savior's burial 
and resurrection is certainly beautiful- 
simple and appropriate. It i= also im- 
pressive, and as it cannot be performed 
without attention and preparation, it 
is not likely to be forgotten. Baptism 
is a good test of one's v»-illingness to 
give obedience. The gospel demands 
many acts of obedience from those who 
accept it, and it is well that this test of 
their disposition to obey is made at the 
time they enter the Church. 

When a person is admitted into the 
Church by baptism he solemnly core- 
nants with the Lord to keep his com- 
mandments. He is placed upon his 
honor to do this, and kno\^-ing that it is 



76 The Way of Eternal Life 

a sacred obligation, he feels more de- 
termined to observe the laws of God 
than he would if no such promise were 
made. Men who have regard for the 
integrity of their own promises will not 
break them for trifling causes. The 
covenant made in baptism, therefore, 
fortifies one against evils and tempta- 
tions, because his honor is at stake. 

The manner of baptism, and the 
words to be used in performing the 
ceremony are given in the book of Doc- 
trine and Covenants, section twenty, 
and verses seventy-two to seventy-four, 
as follows: 

"Baptism is to be administered in 
the following manner unto all those 
who repent: 

"The person who is called of God, 
and has authority from Jesus Christ to 
baptize, shall go down into the water 



Baptism^ the Third Step 77 

with the person who has presented him 
or herself for baptism, and shall say, 
calling him or her by name — Having 
been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I 
baptize you in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 
Amen. 

"Then shall he immerse him or her 
in the water, and come forth again out 
of the water." 

As baptism is essential to salvation, 
the question arises, How are those to 
be saved who die without the opportu- 
nity of hearing the gospel and of be- 
ing baptized? The Lord has provided 
a way for their salvation. The doctrine 
of baptism for the dead was taught in 
the ancient Church of Christ, and it 
has been revealed anew to the Church 
of Christ in these latter days. Those 
who die without hearing the gospel in 



78 The Way of Eternal Life 

this life will have the privilege of hear- 
ing it in the spirit life. If they so de* 
sire they can accept it there, and the 
ordinance of baptism can be per- 
formed here on earth in their behalf 
by their descendants, relatives or 
friends; and this vicarious work, like 
that done by the Savior, in atoning for 
man's sins, will be acceptable unto the 
Lord. 



XI. CONFIRMATION, THE 
FOURTH STEP 

The ordinance of the laying on of 
hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost 
is the fourth step on the way of eter- 
nal life. It is just as essential to sal- 
vation as is baptism of water, and is 
regarded as a part of the baptismal 
ceremony. In the Scriptures the one 
is called the baptism of water and the 
other the baptism of fire and the Holy 
Ghost. The confirmation, by the lay- 
ing on of hands, of those who are bap- 
tized, is a part of the ceremony by 
which they are made members of the 
Church of Christ. The words used by 
the officiating elder in the ordinance 
indicate this: "In the name of Jesus 



80 The Way of Eternal Life 

Christ, I confirm you a member of the 
Church of Jesus Christ," etc. 

The reasons why baptism is required 
as given in the last chapter, may also 
apply to confirmation by the laying on 
of hands. The ordinance is a further 
test of one's faith and obedience. And 
evidently this is very necessary, for 
there are many people who confess 
faith in God's word but are not will- 
ing to believe it sufficiently to accept 
the baptism of water and of the Holy 
Ghost. This unwillingness to obey 
shows that their faith is an empty pro- 
fession by which they deceive them- 
selves. 

By complying with the command- 
ments of the Lord the blessings prom- 
ised on condition of obedience are re- 
ceived ; and thereby one receives assur- 
ance that he is taking the right coiurse 



Confirmation, the Fourth Step 81 

— that he is on the way of eternal life. 
The promises made by the Lord are 
that those who in sincerity obey the 
principles of faith, repentance, bap- 
tism, and have hands laid on them by 
his authorized servants, shall receive 
the Holy Ghost; and that when they do 
receive that Spirit he will "teach them 
all things," will guide them "into all 
truth," will testify of Christ, will show 
them "things to come," thus proving to 
them that their course is approved of 
the Lord. 

The Holy Ghost is promised as a 
guide and a comforter to those who ac- 
cept the gospel. The Scriptures in- 
form us that by or through the Holy 
Spirit men receive wisdom, knowledge, 
the gift of healing, the working of 
miracles, the gifts of prophecy, of 
speaking in tongues, etc. ; and further, 



82 The Way of Eternal Life 

that the "fruit of the Spirit is love, 
joy, peace, longsufifering, gentleness, 
goodness, faith, meekness," etc. 

While these great blessings are prom- 
ised to those who obey the gospel, they 
do not always immediately follow the 
administering of the ordinance of lay- 
ing on of hands for the gift of the Holy 
Ghost. They are given according to 
the individual's needs and according 
to his diligence in seeking for them. 
Nor are all the special spiritual gifts 
bestowed upon one person. As the 
scriptures state, they are distributed, 
or given "to every man severally as he 
will." Mankind differ in their desires 
and inclinations. Some desire one par- 
ticular gift more than they do others, 
and therefore they seek that for which 
they have a liking; and by seeking tliey 
obtain that which they wish. The 



Confirmation, the Fourth Step 83 

words of the Savior, "ask and ye shall 
receive, seek and ye shall find, knock 
and it shall be opened unto you," are 
true. Men receive those things they 
strive for. Those who seek for good 
find it, and those who seek for evil 
find it. It is also true of the gifts of the 
Spirit. They are received by those who 
diligently search for them. 

We are told in modern revelation to 
"seek learning by study, also by faith." 
In this way the gifts of the Spirit 
should be sought. One cannot expect 
to receive them without effort. They 
would not be properly appreciated nor 
would they be held sacred were they 
given without the asking. 

The purpose of spiritual gifts in the 
Church is that the Saints might be com- 
forted, instructed and encouraged. 
They serve to give assurance from day 



84 The Way of Eternal Life 

to day that the recipients are in har- 
mony with their heavenly Father, and 
that he approves of their course. They 
are promised to those who obey the 
gospel, and when they are received they 
give assurance that the great promises 
— of salvation and exaltation — will 
eventually be fulfilled. 

While special gifts of the Spirit are 
distributed among the members of the 
Church, and not all are enjoyed by one 
member, every one is entitled to the 
inspiration of the Holy Spirit suffi- 
ciently to assure him that he has taken 
the right steps to secure salvation. In 
other words, he should have a "testi- 
mony of the truth of the gospel." This 
testimony may not be strong at first, 
but it will grow stronger as one gains 
further experience and understanding. 



Confirmation^ the Fourth Step 85 

It will increase as one studies and 
works for the cause of salvation. 

The greatest assurance men have of 
the truth of religion is that given 
through the Holy Spirit. As already 
stated, some of the "fruits of the 
Spirit" are love, peace, joy, etc. When 
one is actuated by that Spirit his heart 
is filled with love for mankind. He has 
no ill-will towards anyone; his soul is 
full of joy and his mind is at peace. He 
is satisfied that his course is approved 
of Heaven, and his desires are to do 
good to all. 



Xn. REVERENCE 

The ten commandments given to the 
ancient Israelites are still in force, and 
obedience to them is essential to salva- 
tion. The third commandment which 
reads, "Thou shalt not take the name 
of the Lord thy God in vain; for the 
Lord will not hold him guiltless that 
taketh his name in vain," demands con- 
sideration, and is to be observed with 
the other commandments. The Savior 
taught his disciples that swearing was 
wrong, for he said, "Swear not at all; 
neither by heaven; for it is God's 
throne: nor by the earth; for it is his 
footstool." He said further that "every 
idle word that men shall speak, they 
shall give account thereof in the day of 
judgment." 



Reverence 87 

Profaning the name of the Lord is 
inexcusable. It does not gratify one's 
desire for wealth, power or glory; nor 
does it satisfy any bodily appetite. It 
adds nothing to the charm of one's per- 
sonality nor to the force of his utter- 
ances. The same may be said of all 
species of profanity. The only excuse 
for its use is that the habit is easily 
formed and cannot be overcome with- 
out effort. When a person deliberately 
profanes the Lord's name it is evident 
that he has no reverence for Deity. If 
he has no such reverence he never can 
advance spiritually. And is he not al- 
ready damned? For until he changes 
his course he never can pursue the 
way of eternal life. How can a man 
love the Lord with all his heart, and 
with all his soul, and with all his mind, 
which Jesus says is the first great com- 



88 The Way of Eternal Life 

mandment, when he holds his sacred 
name in derision? Even in prayer the 
name of Deity should not be repeated 
unnecessarily or in vain. Profanity 
and irreverence are highly offensive to 
those who have regard for that which 
is sacred, and those who are guilty of 
it manifest a lack of respect both to- 
wards their fellows and towards their 
Creator. 

Irreverence, like other evils, is the 
fruit of ignorance. The slightest ac- 
quaintance with the character of Deity 
is sufficient to awaken one's sense of 
reverence. Nature is the Creator's 
handiwork. In all its forms it com- 
mands the admiration of man, if he 
will but consider it. No one speaks 
disrespectfully of that which he ad- 
mires, therefore one who uses lightly 
the name of the Creator ie ignorant or 



Reverence 89 

^vilfully base. Swearing in general, 
aside from profaning the name of the 
Lord, is evil in itself; and it leads to 
the greater evil of blaspheming the 
Holy Name. Oaths are idle words, if 
nothing worse, and men are to give ac- 
count for "every idle word." Men's 
characters are affected by their 
thoughts, their words and their acts; 
and by their character shall they be 
judged, or in the language of Scripture 
they shall be judged according to their 
works. 

As there is nothing to be gained and 
much to be lost by profanity it should 
be avoided continually. Guard against 
its use in your conversation, and dis- 
countenance it in others. 

Consider how offensive it would be 
to hear men continually repeating your 
father's or your mother's name in com- 



90 The Way of Eternal Life 

mon conversation, and that in the most 
disrespectful manner! All who regard 
their parents with proper honor and 
love resent such insults. 

The more one studies the word and 
works of the Lord the greater will be 
his reverence, and the stronger will be 
his desire to walk in the footsteps of 
the Master and to become like him; 
and by maintaining an attitude of rev- 
erence in the presence of the thought- 
lessly profane may influence them 
to reform. Those who are viciously ir- 
reverent should be shunned. 

Reverence for God will inspire re- 
spect for his earthly representatives, 
and for holy places and sacred cere- 
monies. 



XIII. PRAYER 

No one can keep safely in the way 
of salvation or eternal life without the 
aid of prayer. It is an essential part 
of true worship. It is natural for man- 
kind to pray. The child appeals \o 
its parents for those things it is unable 
to procure by its own efforts, and it 
shows gratitude for what it receiver, 
and these are the essentials of prayer. 
People in a community pray to or peti- 
tion their governing officials of city or 
state for that which they want done and 
cannot do for themselves. 

All mankind whose minds are in a 
normal condition, perform this part of 
worship in some manner, whether 
they believe in or deny the existence 
of God. They all pray, though they 



92 The Way of Eternal Life 

may not do so audibly in words, and 
they may not address any being. The 
constant wishing for some desired ob- 
ject is prayer in a simple form: as the 
poet has said, "Prayer is the soul's sin- 
cere desire, unuttered or expressed." 

Men, too, like children, are natur- 
ally filled with gratitude and thanks- 
giving when their prayers are an- 
swered, and the things desired are re- 
ceived. Showing that the spirit of 
prayer is inherent in man. 

Prayer of itself is beneficial. The 
constant desire, "unuttered or ex- 
pressed," for a certain object helps one 
to concentrate his efforts till the attain- 
ment of the object is accomplished. 

The great purpose of prayer is to gain 
divine assistance — to get the power we 
of ourselves do not possess. Without 
this help we are not able to do our full 



Prayer 93 

duty in life, because we cannot make 
the progress that is within our power 
when we do seek divine aid. Without 
prayer we neglect our duty and forget 
our destiny. We lose courage and give 
up our high ambitions and drift aim- 
lessly through life. Prayer should be 
a part of the moral code. No one can 
reach the highest ideal of morality if 
he ignore the means by which that con- 
dition may be attained. 

In prayer we not only ask the Lord 
for assistance but also express to him 
our gratitude for blessings received. If 
we fail to do this, we are guilty of in- 
gratitude, and ingratitude is a serious 
breach of morality. 

After what has been said as to the 
purpose of prayer, it may not be neces- 
sary to say much about the form of ap- 
pealing to Heaven. There need be no 



94 The Way of Eternal Life 

set form of prayer. Upon each occa- 
sion we should ask our Heavenly 
Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, for 
such assistance as is needed, and we 
should always express our thanks and 
praise to God for all his goodness to 
us — not as a matter of form, but from 
our hearts, and there can be no one 
who has not occasion to be grateful to 
him for blessings received. 

Prayers are not always answered im- 
mediately ; nor at all times are they an- 
swered in the manner anticipated. This 
should not be expected. One may not 
be prepared to receive at once the 
things asked for, or the answer he ex- 
pects may not be the one best suited 
to his condition. The Lord should be 
trusted by his children, with the full 
confidence that he will grant their re- 
quests at the proper time according to 



Prayer 95 

his allwise judgment, and in the wisest 
manner known to him. 

When one fails to receive a direct 
answer to prayer it is always well to be 
patient and not hastily conclude that 
the Lord does not hear him. Let him 
reconsider his petition: Would he be 
benefited by having his desire granted? 
Mankind are changeable. Today a per- 
son may want one thing and tomorrow 
something else. Children ask their 
parents for all kinds of things with 
little thought of the benefit to be had 
if their wishes were granted. Their 
parents are not sure that the children 
really desire what they ask, so they 
wait until their children's minds are 
settled upon something which they 
actually want; and when the parents 
are satisfied that the children are earn- 
est in their appeals and that what they 



96 The Way of Eternal Life 

seek would be good for them to pos- 
sess they try to supply it. May not our 
Heavenly Parent deal similarly with 
his children? 



XIV. CHURCH ORGANIZATION 
AND DIVINE AUTHORITY 

"Why should I belong to a church?" 
one sometimes will ask; "I try to live a 
good life and do right by my neighbors. 
What more should I do?" 

This life is a preparatory school. 
Mankind are placed in this world to 
prepare themselves for heaven. Heaven 
is understood to be a place of perfect 
order. Without order it could not be a 
place of happiness. To prepare for such 
a state of existence as is believed to be 
in heaven, is it not needful that we learn 
to be orderly here? To be orderly we 
must learn to submit to authority — to 
obey those we accept as leaders. Those 
who will not submit to the laws of civ- 
ilization are called outlaws, and are not 



98 The Way of Eternal Life 

permitted to the freedom of law-abid- 
ing citizens; and those who will not 
learn to love and respect the laws of 
heaven can never be permitted to en- 
ter. 

The true followers of Christ must be 
organized into a body or church, with 
officers to govern them. They cannot 
satisfactorily worship God separately. 
Individuals are mistaken when they 
think they can serve the Lord accept- 
ably by themselves, or that they can 
gain life eternal by simply trying to 
live a good, moral life, unaided by the 
means God has given for their use. 
For with all the safeguards of the 
Church organization and its ordinances 
men stray from the way which leads to 
eternal life. 

There are several reasons why the 
Saints of God should be organized into 



Church Organization 99 

a church, and walk unitedly in the way 
of salvation. To make progress in 
righteousness, they must be continually 
taught and reminded of their obliga- 
tions, those who are spiritually weak 
need to be strengthened by the assist- 
ance of those who are stronger; and 
the poor and unfortunate must be pro- 
vided for. Without organization, these 
things cannot be attended to effectually. 
As a part of their duty, and as a 
necessity for their own salvation, the 
Saints are required to lead others to the 
light of the gospel by preaching the 
good tidings of salvation in the world, 
for they cannot gain eternal life by 
selfishly living in seclusion, and they 
can best accomplish this work of teach- 
ing the gospel by organized effort. In 
all ages, the true worshipere of Gdd 
have been ridiculed and persecuted by 



100 The Way of Eternal Life 

their opponents. For mutual encour- 
agement and protection it is to their 
interest to be united in an organized 
capacity. 

It is evident that without organiza- 
tion and unity little can be done for 
man's salvation, spiritually or tem- 
porally, no matter how sincere one's 
desires may be to do good in the service 
of the Lord. 

The true worshipers of God have 
always been organized into a church, 
and those who desire to serve him are 
required to unite with his Church, 
otherwise they are not recognized 
as followers of Christ. The Lord 
has revealed the pattern for his 
Church, and has taught how it shall be 
conducted. He has placed officers in 
the Church, having specific duties to 
perform, so that all things can be con- 



Church Organization 101 

ducted in order. These officers are 
clothed with the priesthood, which is 
authority to act in the name of the 
Lord. 

It must be understood that wherever 
the Church of God is to be found there 
are men chosen of him to act as his 
agents upon the earth. In the days of 
the Savior's ministry among the Jews, 
he called men and ordained them to 
the ministry. The men who stood at 
the head of the Church after Christ's 
resurrection and ascension were the 
apostles Peter, James and John. Those 
same apostles, as resurrected beings, 
appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver 
Cowdery at the time of the establish- 
ment of the Church of Christ in these 
latter days, and conferred authority 
upon them to act in the name of the 
Lord ; and these men, in turn, ordained 



102 The Way of Eternal Life 

others to the priesthood, and so the 
authority has been continued to this 
day. 

The acts of these divinely author- 
ized men are recognized of the Lord 
and what they do by virtue of their 
calling and in righteousness and hu- 
mility is of equal force as if the Lord 
performed those acts himself. When the 
presidency of the Church — the men who 
are chosen of the Lord and accepted 
by the members of his Church to direct 
the affairs thereof — call upon the peo- 
ple to perform certain works, that call 
is the same as though it came direct 
from the Lord to his people. It is the 
same when other men in authority 
make a request of those under their 
care, and these calls should be regarded 
by the people as coming from the Lord, 
because they are from his authorized 



Church Organization 103 

servants whom they covenant to up- 
hold and sustain. Should members dis- 
regard these regulations there could be 
no order in the Church. 

Because obedience to properly con- 
stituted authority must be insisted 
upon, it is not expected that this should 
be blind obedience. It is the privilege 
of every individual in the Church of 
Christ to live closely in touch with the 
policy and movements of the Church 
leaders, so that he may give intelligent 
obedience to any and every require- 
ment made of him. This can be done 
by the member making himself famil- 
iar with the doctrines and practices and 
order of the Church and by holding 
himself in communion with the Holy 
Spirit, and ever being engaged in active 
service for the building up of the 
Church. This suggests that to be a true 



104 The Way of Eternal Life 

follower of Christ one must be studi- 
ous, prayerful and ever awake to the 
promptings of the Holy Spirit. "A 
man cannot be saved in ignorance." 
The only course to pursue for self- 
development is to respond when called 
to service by those in authority. The 
more one seeks to perform service as- 
signed to him the greater will be his 
ability to meet such requirements in 
the future. On the other hand, the re- 
fusal or failure to respond to calls 
made hinders one's advancement. This 
same rule will apply to secular work or 
business of any kind. 



XV. REVELATION 

Belief in continuous revelation is a 
distinct feature of the true Church, 
Christ's Church on earth is always in 
communication with its Divine Head. 
Without revelation from the Lord it 
could make no progress, and in time 
it would lose its divine power. Its high 
aims would be lost sight of, its forms 
changed and its practices perverted. 
This has been the case in past ages 
when revelation ceased in the Church. 
Uninspired men taught conflicting doc- 
trines and led their followers away 
from the true gospel teachings. As 
long as the Church is acknowledged of 
Heaven it relies upon di\dne inspira- 
tion for the guidance of its affairs. 
Men cannot direct aright the Church of 



106 The Way of Eternal Life 

Christ without continued communica- 
cation with him. The directions given 
to the Church in past ages will not do 
for this day. They are not to be had in 
their fulness in the Holy Scriptures, 
and even if they were all preserved to 
our time, they would apply to the pres- 
ent needs only in a general way. 
Christ's Church is progressive, and its 
needs today are diflPerent from those of 
the past; and later it will need other 
instructions. This was true of the 
Church in former times. The Savior, 
during his ministry on earth, first di- 
rected his disciples to go and teach the 
gospel to the house of Israel only, say- 
ing: "Go not into the way of the 
gentiles * * * but go rather to 
the lost sheep of the house of Israel" 
(Matt. 10:5, 6). Later he told the dis- 
ciples to go "into all the world, and 



Revelation 107 

preach the gospel to every creature" 
(Mark 16:16). It appears they did 
not fully understand this — that they 
should go to the Gentiles — and after 
the Lord's ascension into heaven it was 
necessary for them to receive further 
revelation regarding the preaching of 
the gospel to others than the house of 
Israel. Peter the chief apostle, re- 
ceived a revelation by way of a heav- 
enly vision wherein he was told to 
carry the message of salvation to Cor- 
nelius, who was a Gentile (Acts 10). 
In the Church of the present day, reve- 
lation has been received from time to 
time directing the course to be pursued. 
In the early years after its organization, 
men were divinely sent to preach the 
gospel in the various States of the east. 
Later, the Prophet Joseph Smith was 
inspired of the Lord to send the glad 



108 The Way of Eternal Life 

message to Great Britain and to other 
parts of the world. By the spirit of 
revelation the Church was directed to 
move as a body, first from New York to 
Kirtland, Ohio, then to Missouri, later 
to Nauvoo, Illinois, and finally to the 
Rocky Mountains, where it was pre- 
dicted by revelation that the Saints 
would become a mighty people. 

All through its history the Church 
has been guided by revelation. Every 
man that has stood at the head of the 
Church has had the inspiration of the 
Lord to direct the movements of the 
Church. This is not all; men in sub- 
ordinate positions of authority in the 
Church receive revelation to guide 
them and those under their care. Mis- 
sionaries sent abroad to teach the gos- 
pel are led by that same heavenly in- 
spiration to the homes of people who 



Revelation 109 

are prepared to receive their message. 
Every member of the Church who has 
accepted the gospel with a sincere heart 
is entitled to revelation through the 
Holy Spirit for his own guidance, to 
witness to him that the teachings of the 
Church are true — to assure him that 
the leaders of the Church are divinely 
acknowledged, and to enlighten his 
mind upon all matters pertaining to his 
welfare. No one in the Church need 
serve the Lord blindly. By seeking in 
prayer and humility he can know for 
himself that his service is acceptable 
unto the Lord. 



XVI. JOSEPH SMITH AND THE 
LATTER-DAY CHURCH 

The way of eternal life was the mes- 
sage which Christ and his apostles pro- 
claimed to the world. Those who ac- 
cepted their message were received into 
the Church of Christ; but in time, 
owing to persecution and a falling 
away from the faith, the true way of 
salvation was lost sight of. The gospel 
and the authority to administer its 
ordinances were taken from the earth, 
and then followed a long period of 
spiritual darkness. Strange, unauthor- 
ized doctrines were introduced into the 
Church and observed as gospel require- 
ments ; and men officiated in holy ordi- 
nances without having authority so to 
do. 



Joseph Smith and the Church 111 

The important mission entrusted to 
Joseph Smith was to re-establish the 
Church of Christ upon the earth; and 
the strongest visible evidence of his di- 
vine calling is the Church itself. 

To the misinformed, the Church he 
was instrumental in restoring, common- 
ly known in the world as the "Mormon" 
Church, is a system cunningly devised 
to deceive and defraud the ignorant, the 
superstitious and the unwary. To the 
fair-minded seeker after truth it is a 
marvel and a wonder — an organization 
possessed of the elements capable of 
reforming the world of mankind, indi- 
vidually and collectively, and of cor- 
recting all its evils. 

While the Church is not numbered 
with those great religious bodies that 
count their followers by the millions, 
it is great in power. It possesses within 



112 The Way of Eternal Life 

it the "power of God unto salvation;" 
and the salvation it offers is not merely 
an assurance of future happiness, but 
a guarantee of safety and protection 
from present ills. In this world of tur- 
moil, anxiety, fear and uncertainty, it 
gives peace, contentment and happi- 
ness. It enlightens the mind, broadens 
the soul and satisfies all the righteous 
aspirations of the human heart. From 
the cradle to the grave it safeguards its 
members. At the same time it affords 
environment most favorable to spirit- 
ual and intellectual growth. 

The Church requires that a child 
born to parents who are members be 
taken before the Elders and blessed, 
and a record of its birth, its name and 
its parents' names kept on the Church 
records; thus, from the earliest period 
of its life the child is recognized as a 



Joseph Smith and the Church 113 

prospective member of the Cliureh and 
a candidate for salvation. The Church 
requires that parents shall teach their 
children to understand the doctrines of 
repentance, faith in Christ, the Son of 
God, and of baptism and the gift of 
the Holy Ghost by the laying on of 
hands. These instructions are to be 
imparted to the children before they 
are eight years old, for at eight years 
they are, if thus taught, subjects for 
baptism and confirmation, and by com- 
plying with these ordinances they be- 
come members of the Church. 

As aids to the parents in training 
their children, the Church has estab- 
lished the Sunday School, the Primary 
Association, and the Religion Class. At 
the age of twelve years the children are 
eligible to membership in the Mutual 
Improvement Association. 



1 14 The Way of Eternal Life 

The boys at this age are also privi- 
leged to be ordained to the Priesthood, 
which entitles them to take part in 
Church administration. As they grow 
older, they advance from the ofl&ces of 
the lesser to those of the higher Priest- 
hood ; and while they are being trained 
in Church government and doctrine 
they are assisting in the conduct of 
Church affairs, and teaching its doc- 
trines. 

Then, again, the Church provides 
schools for the education of its mem- 
bers in secular as well as religious mat- 
ters. It recognizes the truth that no 
education without religious training is 
complete — that true religion is a sys- 
tem for the spiritual, moral, mental, 
rnd physical development of mankind. 

The missionary work of the Church 
gives its members further opportunity 



Joseph Smith and the Church 115 

to educate and improve themselves 
while at the same time they are carry- 
ing the message of salvation to others. 
And those who are brought into the 
fold through the teachings of these mis- 
sionaries, are nurtured with equal care 
as are those born of parents in the 
Church. 

Besides all this, the Church pre- 
scribes rules of conduct respecting 
man's diet and habits of living that in- 
sure to him the greatest degree of bod- 
ily health and cleanliness; and bodily 
health is what aids largely in securing 
spiritual health. By observing the teach- 
ing of that unique revelation given 
through the Prophet, and known as the 
"Word of Wisdom," the members of 
the Church escape the evils of intem- 
perance and other excesses that destroy 
the souls of mankind. In short, the 



116 The Way of Eternal Life 

teachings of the Church, if accepted 
by mankind, will solve all the menac- 
ing problems of humanity. Its mar- 
riage rules will prevent the intermix- 
ing of the white and colored races ; and 
the high moral standards required of 
its members will settle the question of 
eugenics in the only way it can be set- 
tled. Its methods of providing for the 
poor and unfortunate will relieve the 
extreme suffering that exists among the 
poverty-stricken classes. 

While the Church provides for the 
salvation of mankind in this world — 
salvation from its physical and moral 
evils — it provides means for their spir- 
itual training that they might be fitted 
for salvation in the hereafter. Its doc- 
trines of salvation form a system that is 
orderly and complete — orderly because 
they consist of progressive steps in the 



Joseph Smith and the Church 117 

line of advancement, and complete be- 
cause they provide for the salvation of 
all — not only the living but also the 
dead who die without the privilege of 
receiving the teachings and ordinances 
of salvation in this life. 

Such is the character of Christ's 
Church, established through the agency 
of Joseph Smith, who was commis- 
sioned of Heaven to perform the work. 
It is the greatest and most perfect or- 
ganization on earth, and its existence is 
a standing, visible evidence of the in- 
spiration of its founder. 



XVIL THE SABBATH AND PUB- 
LIC WORSHIP 

The Lord commanded His people 
anciently to "Remember the Sabbath 
day to keep it holy." Many of the peo- 
ple in what are known as Christian 
countries seek to keep the Sabbath day 
holy according to their understanding 
of it, and they are convinced that they 
are blest in doing so. By resting from 
their labors one day in seven, they have 
found physical benefit, and the change 
from the daily routine of labor enables 
them to accomplish as much in the six 
days as they would were they to work 
seven days without any change or rest ; 
so they lose nothing in a material way 
by observing this law. 

But the physical benefit, although 



The Sabbath 119 

important, is not all that one receives 
from a proper observance of the Sab- 
bath. Sunday is a day for spiritual re- 
freshing. The modern commandment 
concerning the observance of this day 
is given in a revelation to the Prophet 
Joseph Smith as follows: 

"And that thou mayest more fully 
keep thyself unspotted from the world, 
thou shalt go to the house of prayer 
and offer up thy sacraments upon my 
holy day; 

"For verily this is a day appointed 
unto you to rest from your labors, and 
to pay thy devotions unto the Most 
High; 

"Nevertheless thy vows shall be of- 
fered up in righteousness on all days 
and at all times; 

"But remember that on this the 
Lord's day, thou shalt offer thine obla- 



120 The Way of Eternal Life 

tions and thy sacraments unto the Most 
High, confessing thy sins unto thy 
brethren, and before the Lord. 

"And on this day thou shah do none 
other thing, only let thy food be pre- 
pared with singleness of heart that thy 
fasting may be perfect, or, in other 
words, that thy joy may be full" (Doc- 
trine and Covenants Sec. 59, verses 
9-13). 

What is meant by keeping "unspot- 
ted from the world" is to be free from 
the sins of the worldly-minded, or 
those who fear not God and keep not 
his commandments. The safest way to 
keep free from these sins is to observe 
the Sabbath in the way the Lord has 
prescribed. It is a very easy matter 
for one who neglects to keep holy the 
Lord's day to fall into other sins, and 
to forget all his religious obligations; 



The Sabbath 121 

and those who hreak the Sabbath are 
generally found guilty of other wrong 
doing. 

"There is a law, irrevocably decreed 
in heaven before the foundations of 
this world, upon which all blessings are 
predicated; and when we obtain any 
blessing from God, it is by obedience 
to that law upon which it is predi- 
cated" (Doctrine and Covenants 130: 
20,21). 

There are blessings promised to 
those who keep sacred the Lord's day. 
To receive these blessings one must 
comply with the law, for, according to 
the above quotation, it is only by obe- 
dience to that particular law that these 
specific blessings are to be obtained. 

Other advantages of Sabbath ob- 
servance are spiritual health and activ- 
ity. Man's spiritual being needs food 



122 The Way of Eternal Life 

as well as does his physical. By attend- 
ing the meetings held for public wor- 
ship one is spiritually refreshed; he is 
reminded of and encouraged to per- 
form his religious obligations. It is not 
enough to only rest from manual labor 
on the Sabbath day. One should as- 
sociate with his brethren and sisters in 
public worship, thereby showing that 
be enjoys fellowship with them and 
that he and they may be mutually edi- 
fied. 

If preparation for observing the Sab- 
bath as a day of rest and worship bt 
made on Saturday, there will be no 
need of doing unnecessary work on 
Sunday. The old-time custom of clean- 
ing up, cooking, mending and bathing 
on Saturday should still be practiced, 
then there would be nothing to hinder 
a proper observance of the Lord's day. 



The Sabbath 123 

Saturday night parties, entertainments 
or excursions are out of place and ex- 
hibit bad taste. Shopping at a late 
hour on Saturday night is unnecessary 
and is an injustice to the employes of 
mercantile establishments, as it pre- 
vents them from keeping the Sabbath 
day holy. True, many of them rest on 
the Sabbath, after being prevented 
from resting the night before, but they 
often feel too tired to attend the ser- 
vices on the Lord's holy day. 



XVIII. THE LORD'S SUPPER 

The sacrament of the Lord's Supper 
is an ordinance of the Church of 
Christ. Jesus himself instituted it in 
the Church in former days, and he has 
commanded that it should be practiced 
by his Saints of latter days. 

It is unnecessary here to give the 
history of this sacrament or to explain 
its manner of administration. The 
purpose of it is stated in the revealed 
form of blessings to be asked upon the 
emblems to be partaken of — the bread 
and the water. This purpose is that 
the Saints might keep in mind their Re- 
deemer and the atonement he made for 
them, and show their willingness to 
take upon them his name; that is, to 
acknowledge him by being members 



The Lord's Supper 125 

of his Church — the Church of Jesus 
Christ — and that they might always 
remember him and keep his command- 
ments, that his Spirit might always be 
with them. 

As has been before stated, the atone- 
ment of Christ is the greatest factor in 
the plan of salvation, and the Lord's 
supper is a memorial of the great 
sacrifice. By ever keeping it in mind 
helps one to appreciate the benefits of 
the atonement, and to live a life worthy 
of those benefits. By continually 
showing our fellowship with the mem- 
bers of Christ's Church by partaking 
of the sacrament of the Lord's supper 
we are constantly impressed with the 
necessity of fulfilling the duties of 
Saints. And this is needfvil, for unless 
we are frequently reminded of our 
duties we forget them. Like other 



126 The Way of Eternal Life 

sacred ceremonies of the Church, the 
sacrament of the Lord's supper serves 
as a safeguard to the Saints. 

It is required of all Saints that they 
partake of the sacrament of the Lord's 
supper worthily. That is, that their 
hearts be clean. If they have sinned 
they must repent of that sin. If they 
have offended others, or have ill-feel- 
ings towards any one on account of 
wrongs either real or imaginary, they 
should be reconciled before partaking 
of the sacrament. This is a proper and 
wdse requirement. Misunderstandings 
should be settled and misdeeds cor- 
rected promptly, and not allowed to in- 
crease and cause greater bitterness of 
heart between brothers and sisters. 
"Let not the sun go down upon yoiu* 
wrath," says the Apostle Paul (Eph. 
4:26). 



XIX. FASTING 

There is a reason for every regula- 
tion in the Church of Christ, and every 
requirement is for a purpose; and it 
is always a source of satisfaction to 
know the purpose for which a practice 
is followed. 

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Lat- 
ter-day Saints, one day each month is 
set apart as a day of fasting. Usually 
this is the first Sunday in the month. 
It is expected of the Saints that on this 
day they will not partake of food until 
after the close of the fast day service, 
which is held in the afternoon. The 
Saints are also expected to give as an 
offering for the assistance of the poor 
and unfortunate an amount at least 
equal to the average cost of two 



128 The Way of Eternal Life 

meals. "Thou wilt remember the 
poor, and consecrate of thy properties 
for their support'' (Doctrine and Cove- 
nants 42:30). This contribution, as 
can readily be seen, works no hardship 
upon anyone. 

The practice of fasting is beneficial 
in several ways. Those who are well 
fed are benefited physically by allow- 
ing their digestive organs an occasional 
rest. And by fasting they can enter 
more fully into the feelings of those 
who are poorly fed on account of un- 
fortunate conditions. Fasting awakens 
sympathy for the poor; and it is the 
part of a Saint's life to cultivate this 
virtue — to be considerate and mindful 
of the needs of others. 

Many persons have sought and re- 
ceived special blessings from the Lord 
through fasting and prayer. By fast- 



Fasting 129 

ing they have been enabled to better 
concentrate their faith upon the object 
they desired. Upon one occasion the 
disciples of Jesus asked why they could 
not cast out an evil spirit with which 
a certain individual was afficted. The 
Master replied that such spirits could 
only be cast out by prayer and fasting. 



10 



XX. MARRIAGE 

In the world generally marriage is re- 
garded as a civil ceremony. It is a mu- 
tual contract or agreement between the 
man and the woman to live together as 
husband and wife while life may last. 
Very properly, the Church of Jesus 
Christ recognizes such marriages as 
vahd and binding, according to the con- 
tract made. But the true marriage 
contract is an institution of heaven, 
and is a uniting of husband and wife 
not for this life only, but for all eter- 
nity. "Marriage is ordained of God," 
says the book of Doctrine and Cove- 
nants (49:15); and, in the reve- 
lation on the eternity of the marriage 
covenant, it fiJl^er says: 

"Therefore, if a man marry him a 



Marriage 131 

wife in the world, and he marry her 
not by me, nor by my word; and he 
covenant with her so long as he is in 
the world, and she with him, their cove- 
nant and marriage are not of force 
when they are dead, and when they are 
out of the world; therefore, they are 
not bound by any law when they are 
out of the world; 

"Therefore, when they are out of 
the world, they neither marry, nor are 
given in marriage; but are appointed 
angels in heaven, which angels are min- 
istering servants, to minister for those 
who are worthy of a far more, and an 
exceeding, and an eternal weight of 
glory; 

"For these angels did not abide my 
law, therefore they cannot be enlarged, 
but remain separately and singly, with- 
out exaltation, in their saved condition, 



132 The Way of Eternal Life 

to all eternity, and from henceforth 
are not Gods, but are angels of God, for 
ever and ever. 

"And again, verily I say unto you, 
if a man marry a wife, and make a cov- 
enant with her for time and for all 
eternity, if that covenant is not by me, 
or by my word, which is my law, and is 
not sealed by the Holy Spirit of prom- 
ise, through him whom I have anointed 
and appointed unto this power — then 
it is not valid, neither of force when 
they are out of the world, because they 
are not joined by me, saith the Lord, 
neither by my word; when they are 
out of the world, it cannot be received 
there, because the angels and the Gods 
are appointed there, by whom they 
cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, in- 
herit my glory, for my house is a house 



Marriage 133 

! 
of order, saith the Lord God (Doc. and 
Cov. 132:15-18). 

In order to be sealed in marriage for 
eternity by the authority of the holy 
priesthood, a man and woman must be 
worthy of a recommendation for that 
purpose. This worthiness must be ex- 
hibited by their conduct in life. They 
are expected to have complied in all 
sincerity with the initiatory ordinances 
of the gospel, and to observe the 
Church rules of conduct. The cove- 
nants they make previous to being 
sealed in marriage are of the most sol- 
emn nature, and unless their lives have 
been pure and exemplary before en- 
tering into these covenants they will 
not likely be able to abide by the agree- 
ments they enter into before the Lord; 
and it is a most serious matter to break 



134 The Way of Eternal Life 

the promises made before heaven and 
its authority here on earth. 

While it is a serious matter to make 
covenants in the house of the Lord, the 
making of such in full integrity and 
understanding adds strength to one's 
determination to do right. The cove- 
nant to do right places one on his 
honor, and by keeping that covenant 
ever in mind he will be better able to 
live righteously than he would had he 
never made it. 

The sacred ordinance or endowment 
one receives previous to marriage in the 
house of the Lord, like the covenant of 
baptism, and like the covenant of the 
sacrament of the Lord's Supper, is in- 
tended to serve as a safeguard on the 
path of eternal life. Like a handrail 
on a footbridge, it protects them from 
falling from the narrow way. 



Marriage 135 

Young men and women in choosing 
companions in contemplation of matri- 
mony, should keep in mind that the 
proper marriage is that of the Lord's 
holy house — the marriage for eternity. 
Marriage should be considered seri- 
ously, and not entered hastily or with- 
out due preparation. Young men and 
young women in the Church ought to 
so live that they may be worthy of ad- 
mission to the temples of the Lord. 

For the sake of domestic happiness 
in this life, people should marry those 
of their own faith. Differences in re- 
ligious belief are ever causes of con- 
tention in a family. Young men and 
women should seek their choice of com- 
panions from among their equals in 
their own communities as far as pos- 
sible. There is more safety in this ; be- 
ing brought up in the same community 



136 The Way of Eternal Life 

they are likely to have similar tastes 
and hahits, and they will the more 
likely he hetter acquainted with each 
other's ways before marriage. Besides, 
they can know of the character of the 
families with which they make alli- 
ances. Marriage with one who is a 
stranger or from a strange nation is at- 
tended with great risks because of the 
dissimilarity of training and ideals. 
Intermarriage with the colored race is 
forbidden by the laws of God and fre- 
quently by the laws of man. 



XXI. TITHING 

It has already been stated that it is 
necessary for the true worshipers of 
God to be organized into a corporate 
body, called a church, or, more cor- 
rectly, the Church of Jesus Christ. 

The reasons for this organization 
have also been presented. To conduct 
the afifairs of the Church requires 
means, and the Lord has revealed that 
the members of his Church shall pay 
one-tenth of their income for the sup- 
port of it. This principle is called the 
law of tithing. It is a just law, as it is 
fair to the rich and the poor. While 
the poor man who pays the tenth part 
of his interest does not give the same 
amount as the rich tithe-payer does, he 
is entitled to the same blessings, be* 



138 The Way of Eternal Life 

cause he has done as much in propor- 
tion to what he earns. 

The law of tithing is difficult for 
some to comply with, because it is a 
sacrifice of one's means apparently 
without a return of material benefit. 
I say apparently without return of ma- 
terial benefit, yet the faithful and sin- 
cere paying of tithes often does bring 
material benefits in return, but not al- 
ways immediately. The farmer does 
not get returns at once when he plants 
his seeds. He sacrifices his labor and 
the money he pays for seeds, and trusts 
in the Lord for future returns. And 
as sure as he is rewarded for the ap- 
parent sacrifice he makes, so sure is 
the tithe-payer rewarded for his trust 
in the Lord. He may not always re- 
ceive temporal benefits for observing 
the law. But there are other blessings 



Tithing 139 

far greater than material wealth. Spir- 
itual success and prosperity ought to be 
prized far above worldly riches. 

The paying of tithes helps one in 
making the best use of his money. In 
order that he might have the means 
with which to pay tithing, he watches 
carefully his expenditures; and it is as 
important to look to the spending as to 
the earning of money. 

It has been learned by experience 
that, as a rule, those in the Church who 
are observers of the law of tithing are 
most faithful in keeping other com- 
mandments of the Lord. It serves, 
therefore, as an index to their faith in 
God and his Church. To profess faith 
in the gospel and at the same time re- 
fuse to comply with this law is incon- 
sistent. 

The observance of the law of tithing 



140 The Way of Eternal Life 

helps to free one from selfishness; and 
in order to keep in the way of eternal 
life a man must be unselfish. He must 
be willing to give all he has for the 
precious jewel of eternal life. 

The law of tithing as contained in 
the Doctrine and Covenants, is as fol- 
lows : 

"Verily, thus saith the Lord, I re- 
quire all their surplus property to be 
put into the hands of the bishop of my 
church of Zion, 

"For the building of mine house, 
and for the laying af the foundation of 
Zion and for the Priesthood, and for 
the debts of the Presidency of my 
church ; 

"And this shall be the beginning 
of the tithing of my people; 

"And after that, those who have 
thus been tithed, shall pay one-tenth of 



Tithing 141 

all their interest annually; and this 
shall he a standing law unto them for 
ever, for my holy priesthood, saith the 
Lord. 

"Verily I say unto you, it shall 
come to pass, that all those who gather 
unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of 
their surplus properties, and shall ob- 
serve this law, or they shall not be 
found worthy to abide among you. 

"And I say unto you, if my people 
observe not this law, to keep it holy, 
and by this law sanctify the land of 
Zion unto me, that my statutes and my 
judgments may be kept thereon, that it 
may be most holy, behold, verily I say 
unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion 
unto you; 

"And this shall be an ensample 
unto all the Stakes of Zion. Even so. 
Amen" (Doc. and Gov. 119). 



1 42 The Way of Eternal Life 

Everyone who has an income, which 
includes every wage-earner, is expected 
to comply with this law. Boys and girls 
who earn or receive means regularly or 
occasionally are subject to this rule. 
The best way to receive training in the 
practice of this law of the Lord is for 
the young members of the Church to 
begin paying tithing when they first re- 
ceive money for their labor. It should 
be paid as it is received, weekly or 
monthly as the case may be. It is easier 
to keep the law by beginning in this 
way. The practice soon becomes a 
habit; and the habit of saving and mak- 
ing good use of money is formed at the 
same time. 



XXII. THE WORD OF WISDOM 

What is known as the Word of Wis- 
dom, is a revelation given by the Lord 
to his Church, through the Prophet 
Joseph Smith, telling them what is good 
and also what is not good for food. It 
is found in the book of Doctrine and 
Covenants, beginning on page 321, and 
comprises the whole of Section 89. The 
revelation first warns the Saints against 
those things that are not good for the 
use of man, such as wine and strong 
drinks, hot drinks, tobacco, and the 
eating of much meat. It also tells what 
foods are good for mankind, as well as 
what is proper food for domestic ani- 
mals and fowls. It concludes by prom- 
ising great blessings to those who ob- 
serve its teachings and keep the com- 



144 The Way of Eternal Life 

mandments of the Lord. The revela- 
tion is plain and should be read care- 
fully by everyone. It is a most won- 
derful revelation — wonderful because 
it gives the most essential rules for 
health in such few words. Surely it is 
a word of wisdom; and those who ac- 
cept it and follow its teachings are wise 
in doing so. And the promises of health 
and treasures of knowledge which it 
holds out are certainly realized by those 
who seek them. 
A The observance of the Word of Wis- 
dom helps greatly towards supplying 
physical and moral strength to keep the 
other commandments of the Lord, and 
is therefore of much importance to 
everyone who is trying to walk in the 
way of eternal life. 

The using of such articles as the 
Word of Wisdom forbids is common to 



The Word of Wisdom 145 

mankind, and many of the Saints who 
have been trained in the ways of the 
world have formed the habit of partak- 
ing of such things, and often they find 
it hard to overcome their habits ; but it 
18 an easy matter for the children of 
Latter-day Saints to keep free from 
such habits. The articles mentioned as 
being unfit for the use of man are not 
attractive to the tastes of children, and 
it is necessary to be trained to like 
them, hence, to avoid their use is easy. 
The removal of these evils from the 
lives of the youth of Zion makes them 
the most blessed and favored children 
in all the world, and gives them an ad- 
vantage that will enable them the more 
easily to keep the laws of God and gain 
salvation in his presence. 

No good reason can be given to jus- 
tify the use of things forbidden by the 



146 The Way of Eternal Life 

Word of Wisdom. They injure the 
body and the mind, and deaden the 
spiritual senses. Many who use them 
make the excuse that they cannot over- 
come the habit. This is proof that their 
will-power is weak; and if they have 
not the power to overcome the appetite 
for such forbidden articles they are not 
likely to be able to resist other evils. 
There are others who claim that they 
indulge only moderately in the use of 
liquors, tobacco, or hot drinks, and that 
they can lay them aside at any time. 
This 19 an unsafe course to pursue. The 
habit of using these or any other drugs 
grows upon a person, and before he is 
aware it has such a strong hold upon 
him that he cannot overcome it. Evils 
should never be trifled with, and temp- 
tations are to be avoided from the be- 
ginning. Curiosity to know the nature 



The Word of Wisdom 147 

of an evil ought never to be gratified. 

Observance of the condition of those 
who yield to drug habits and intemper- 
ance should be sufficient warning to 
any young person. When you see one 
who has lost all self-respect through 
giving way to vice, be convinced that it 
will be only a matter of time when you 
will be in a similar condition if you 
take the same course. 

One day a yoimg man of respecta- 
bility went into a saloon to take a drink. 
He only went occasionally to such 
places and had not formed a regular 
habit of drinking. A poor, despised sot 
approached him and said, "Won't you 
set 'em up, pard?" 

"What!" exclaimed the young man 
with disgust, "do you think I would 
drink with such a degraded fellow as 
you!" The inebriate replied, "When 



148 The Way of Eternal Life 

I was your age I was as respectable as 
you are and belonged to just as hon- 
orable a family ; and it is only a matter 
of time when you will be like me, so 
you have no superiority to boast of, 
young man." 

This set the young man to thinking as 
he never had done before. "If that is 
what drink inevitably leads to," he said 
to himself, "I wotdd better quit;'' and 
he did there and then. Without his 
drink he left the place to return no 
more. 



XXIII. PURITY OF LIFE — PUR- 
POSE OF SACRAMENTS 

The foregoing chapters have been 
devoted to an explanation of some of 
the doctrines and ordinances of salva- 
tion as taught in the gospel of Jesus 
Christ. The principles therein dis- 
cussed are to be accepted and practiced 
by those who desire salvation. Accord- 
ing to the teachings of the Prophet 
Joseph Smith, salvation means "a 
man's being placed beyond the power 
of all his enemies." What the Prophet 
mentions here as "enemies" are man's 
evil inclinations and appetites — his in- 
ward enemies. To be saved, man must 
conquer himself and bring into subjec- 
tion every evil desire, to develop his 
inherent virtues, and seek to live a per- 



150 The Way of Eternal Life 

feet life, like that of the Master, Christ, 
who was without sin. 

The gospel of Jesus Christ, as before 
stated, is the law of right living; and 
right living means a life of honesty, 
purity and love. No religious profes- 
sions are of any value unless they em- 
brace these the chief virtues of life; 
and all the forms and ceremonies of 
religion are of no effect when practiced 
unless they tend to make men honest 
and pure. "All liars, and whosoever 
loveth and maketh a lie, and the whore- 
monger, and the sorcerer, shall have 
their part in that lake which burneth 
\vith firp and brimstone which is the 
second death." (Doctrine and Cove- 
nants 63:17.) 

Pure religion, says the scripture, is 
this: "To visit the fatherless and 
widows in their affliction, and to keep 



Purity of Life 151 

himself unspotted from the world." 
(James 1:27.) 

The first and great commandment, 
says the scripture, is "Thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
and with all thy soul, and with all thy 
mind. * * * j^j^j the second is 
like unto it. Thou shalt love thy neigh- 
bor as thyself." Loving the Lord is not 
only an act of gratitude in return for 
his kindness: it means more than this. 
If we love him, we admire and worship 
him and will instinctively seek to obey 
him and to become like him; and the 
more we become like him the greater 
happiness will we be capable of enjoy- 
ing. To love one's neighbor as oneself 
is not only a matter of justice, kindness 
or benevolence. It is for one's own 
benefit. Hatred is injurious both to 
one's spiritual and physical constitU" 



152 The Way of Eternal Life 

tion. He who possesses the spirit of 
hatred even towards an enemy punishes 
himself more than he does his enemy. 
Should he harbor hatred without in- 
forming his enemy of his feelings he 
alone is the sufferer ; and if he declares 
his hatred, his enemy may rejoice over 
the fact. Should he take vengeance 
upon the one he dislikes his conscience 
will torment him more severely than it 
is possible for him to hurt his enemy. 
The claim that "vengeance is sweet" is 
a delusion. 

To summarize briefly, religion is for 
the purpose of inculcating honesty, 
love, kindness, purity, etc., and it is for 
the development and perfection of 
these virtues that the gospel ceremonies 
are in the Church; and they are all of 
vital importance, There are no super- 



Purity of Life 153 

stitious rites or useless ordinances con- 
nected with true religion. 

People sometimes claim they can and 
do practice these heavenly virtues with- 
out observing the forms of religion. But 
they cannot do so to any great degree 
of perfection, and they never will be 
able to do so without the assistance of 
the helps God has revealed for the use 
of mankind — without walking in the 
narrow way that leads to perfection of 
life. 

Men may paint without brushes or 
write without pens, but not so perfectly 
as with the aid of these appliances ; and 
why ignore the helps within one's 
reach? Those who expect to cultivate 
their virtues to perfection and over- 
come all their evil inclinations without 
the help of religious ordinances and the 
safeguards of the Church are misled. 



154 The Way of Eternal Life 

They do not realize what such an ac- 
complishment means. People cannot 
live for themselves alone and yet prac- 
tice the principles that are needed to 
save them. They cannot keep them- 
selves "unspotted from the world" and 
the sins thereof, if they have never 
tried to do their part in helping to cor- 
rect the evils that are in the world; and 
how can they do their part without as- 
sociating with their fellows in the 
work? 

Without faith in God they cannot 
possess the incentives to good works 
that such faith gives. Without repent- 
ance they can make no progress in de- 
veloping their virtues, for repentance 
is the only means hy which moral ad- 
vancement can be made. Without bap- 
tism of water and of the Spirit they 
cannot receive and retain the inspira- 



Purity of Life 155 

tion and assistance of the Lord, so nec- 
essary for their guidance, their encour- 
agement, and their assurance of being 
in the way of eternal life. Without 
prayer they can accomplish nothing of 
worth. Without organization there can 
be no unity of action, and their indi- 
vidual efforts are weakened so that the 
good results of their labors are par- 
tially if not wholly lost. When they 
fail to associate with their fellow-wor- 
shipers to partake of the sacrament of 
the Lord's supper, they lose the 
strength and encouragement derived 
from participating in these privileges — 
they lose interest in the high object of 
their aim, and their determination is at 
an end. By disregarding the laws of 
their physical being, they lose their 
health, and are thus incapacitated for 
the labors and duties of life. It is there- 



156 The Way of Eternal Life 

fore useless to contend that the ordi- 
nances of salvation are unnecessary. 
Each one is placed in the Church for a 
specific purpose, and they are all need- 
ed as helps, as guides, as shields, as 
stimulants. 

It is true that the mere observance of 
outward ordinances will not save one. 
Salvation comes through the grace of 
God manifested in the atonement of 
Christ. But unless one accepts this 
atonement by obedience to the condi- 
tions upon which it is offered, he can- 
not expect it to bring him salvation. 
And these conditions are that he shall 
overcome all his evil inclinations and 
perfect himself as the Master is perfect, 
that he might be fit to dwell with him ; 
and this he can do only with the help 
of the ordinances God has placed in the 
Church for that purpose. 



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